The day of reckoning is closing in.
Very soon South Florida will finally have the MLS soccer side it has been craving.
There have been firm plans in place for a soccer team in Miami since early 2012 when MLS commissioner Don Garber confirmed the league’s interest in placing an expansion franchise in the city. David Beckham coming on board certainly helped smooth the process and as recently as December a new manager has been selected for the team.
CNN reported that former Uruguayan international Diego Alonso will take charge for their opening fixtures, the first of which comes away against Los Angeles FC. Beckham’s former club LA Galaxy is the first opponents at the Lockhart Stadium on March 14th.
Miami’s name takes inspiration from that of Italian side Inter Milan. Their full title is Football Club Internazionale Milano, whereas Miami’s full title is Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami, but the similarity between the names by which their known is recognizable. Like the major teams in Europe, Miami are now involved in transfer rumors and speculation.
With the squad already firmly in place, they are now looking to add a marquee signing to their ranks to help further boost their profile. They have already added two exciting young players via the first draft; with one, Robbie Robinson, having scored 24 goals in 47 appearances for Clemson Tigers. He represents real potential for the future of the U.S. National side.
Drafts are not something Europe is familiar with, but transfer speculation is, and this winter Inter Miami are involved in their fair share of chatter. Across in Europe, several major players are looking to move with Inter Milan keenly involved in a transfer tussle; bwin reported how the Italian giants are favorites to sign Danish star Christian Eriksen as they challenge for the title in Italy. The fee is thought to be around the €15m mark ($13m), the sort of fee that Miami are also being linked with spending.
They’re not likely to attract top European talent like Eriksen, yet, but it is suggested they might loan Celtic youngster Lewis Morgan. As well as that, they’re also being touted as a possible destination for Roger Martinez. MLS Soccer reports that he could be the subject of a $15m swoop ahead of the new season.
The 25-year-old is currently playing in Mexico with Club América where he’s hit 12 goals in 56 games, coming off the back of a loan spell in Spain with Villarreal. He’s a Colombian international too, having played 18 times for his country. He’s scored twice, once against Haiti but also getting the winner in a famous 1-0 victory against Argentina in this year’s Copa America.
There’s little doubt both targets are a real show of strength from Miami. Lewis Morgan is a hot prospect in Scotland and plays for arguably one of the biggest clubs in Europe in Celtic. If they could attract him, an exciting young prospect with international ambitions, it would send a signal to the rest of the MLS.
Not quite as much as a swoop for Martinez would. He’s a player that would undoubtedly be one of their key men and who could give them hope of some level of success in their inaugural MLS season.