Five selections were made on Tuesday night in the MLS Expansion Draft for Inter Miami, thus bringing more new names to the club’s first ever roster. The draft provided both expansion teams, Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC, the opportunity to add players from other MLS clubs onto their roster. Inter Miami had the first pick.
A breakdown of Inter Miami’s Picks
Ben Sweat went off the board at number one and was just an overall logical pick. Left back in MLS is one of the thinnest positions league- wide. Being able to bring on someone like Sweat is extremely valuable. Although losing his starting role last year for NYCFC, Sweat has proven throughout the years he’s a reliable piece on the backline. He also fills in a position Inter Miami have not yet been able to fill. Sweat is also a Florida native, and having gone to USF and playing in Florida conditions growing up, the climate down in Fort Lauderdale come Spring should serve no issue. The 28 year old has also made two international appearances with the US Men’s National Team, debuting in October of 2018. His experience in MLS with both NYCFC and Columbus Crew will provide Sweat a leadership role on and off the pitch.
After Nashville SC went on to take Abu Danladi with their first pick, Paul McDonough announced that Inter would take a right back with their second pick. Filling out the back line seemed to be the priority for Inter Miami coming into the Expansion Draft as Alvas Powell is set to be making his way down to South Beach. The Jamaican International will most likely start at right back playing across from Sweat, and his youth and experience is something Inter Miami hope to rely on.
Powell debuted for the Jamaican national team in 2012 at 18 years old. Since then he’s gone on to be capped 43 times. It’s a remarkable record at a youthful age. Powell is a player to look forward to for Inter fans as he’s even scored six goals in his MLS career dating back to 2013. From Portland to then the expansion team FC Cincinnati, Powell has gone through the beginning of an MLS franchise before, so that experience will also be valuable.
Inter Miami brings a veteran, MLS star to the fold
A true MLS veteran was next taken by Inter Miami as Lee Nguyen, a name most MLS fans are extremely familiar with, will be joining “La Familia.” Nguyen, the once attacking midfielder saw a much deeper role last season as instructed by Bob Bradley of LAFC. Though it seems from the outside like a good move as LAFC won the Supporters Shield with the best record in MLS, Nguyen’s natural role is playing as a number 10. Throughout his 239 games played in MLS, most of the 54 goals he’s scored has come from that position.
With his experience does come some age. At 33, it was questioned whether or not Nguyen would be the player taken from LAFC in the draft or if it would be Tyler Miller. Inter Miami are confident with taking Nguyen. He is an experienced player whose also seen time with the National Team. So look for Nguyen to be feeding in balls and sharing some interplay with the likes of Julian Carranza up top from his natural attacking mid position.
McDonough then announced that with Inter Miami’s fourth pick, they’d be taking Luis Argudo from Columbus Crew. This was much of a lesser- known pick by Inter compared to the previous three. Argudo had only entered the league from the MLS SuperDraft in 2018. At 23, Argudo is a young talent with a lot to prove. However, he’ll fit right in Miami. He’s bilingual and claims to represent both Colombian and Ecuadorian heritage along with being American. What also should be noted, Paul McDonough spent time as an assistant at Wake Forest University, which is where Luis Argudo attended college. This pick was influenced by the potential, and most likely the connection to a player from the front office, which gives insight on Argudo’s character.
Meredith will be a valuable piece to team
With Inter Miami’s final pick in the MLS Expansion Draft, they took a Seattle Sounders’ fan favorite in goalkeeper Bryan Meredith. Though he spent a lot of time as a backup in Seattle, Meredith will absolutely compete for the starting goalkeeper spot. He’s also a player any club loves to have around. He was extremely active in Seattle’s community and is also active with the MLSPA.
It’ll be great for Inter Miami to have a guy like this at least in the locker room. Time will tell if he cracks the starting lineup on March 14th against the LA Galaxy. With Tyler Miller becoming a free agent after not being taken in the Expansion Draft, arguably the best keeper in the league is up for grabs. The reports to come out of Los Angeles told that LAFC and Miller were not agreeing to terms. If Inter are willing to throw around some cash, Miller could be headed down to Miami when the free agent period opens up. That would give Meredith the ultimate test, but he surely comes as good insurance.
Inter Miami’s roster features several names
Inter Miami’s roster for the upcoming season now looks like this:
- Drake Callender – Goalkeeper
- Bryan Meredith – Goalkeeper
- Ben Sweat – Defender
- Alvas Powell – Defender
- Christian Makoun – Defender
- Grant Lillard – Defender
- Lee Nguyen – Midfielder
- Luis Argudo – Midfielder
- Jay Chapman – Midfielder
- David Norman Jr. – Midfielder
- Victor Ulloa – Midfielder
- Matias Pellegrini – Midfielder
- George Acosta – Midfielder
- Julian Carranza – Forward
- Jerome Kiesewetter – Forward