Soccer

Inter Miami ‘very close’ to naming coach — owner offers hints at who it might be

Beckham group releases first look at proposed stadium complex

Jorge Mas, a partner with David Beckham in his effort to launch a Miami Major League Soccer franchise, released images of a proposed soccer complex near Miami International Airport in July 2018.
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Jorge Mas, a partner with David Beckham in his effort to launch a Miami Major League Soccer franchise, released images of a proposed soccer complex near Miami International Airport in July 2018.

Inter Miami co-owner Jorge Mas told BBC News and other reporters at the Major League Soccer All-Star Game in Orlando on Wednesday that the team is “very close” to hiring a manager, and that it is “someone you’re going to know who has coached before at the highest level and who has played at the highest level.”

He said they are looking for a long-term coach.

“We are trying to get someone who can also commit here for a period of time and leave his fingerprints on our team,” Mas said.

Among the available managers who have playing and coaching experience at the highest level: David Moyes (56-year-old Scot played at Celtic, coached at Everton, Manchester United, Real Sociedad, West Ham), Santiago Solari (42-year-old Argentine played at River Plate, Atletico Madrid, and Inter Milan, coached the Argentine national team, Real Madrid youth and briefly Real Madrid), and Massimiliano “Max” Allegri (51-year-old Italian who played in Serie A and most recently led Juventus to five league titles and two Champions League finals from 2014-19).

Thierry Henry, who won a World Cup with France and is one of the best strikers of all-time, also has played and coached at the top level. The 41-year-old played for Monaco, Juventus, Arsenal (leading scorer in club history with 174 goals), Barcelona, and the New York Red Bulls, which gives him MLS experience. He was an assistant coach for Belgium’s World Cup team in 2018 and coached Monaco last season, but was let go.

Former U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann would also fit that description. He played for VfB Stuttgart, Inter Milan, AS Monaco, Tottenham Hotspur and Bayern Munich, played on the 1990 World Cup champion German team and coached Germany, Bayern Munich and the United States.

Paul McDonough, the team’s sporting director, said last week that they had serious conversations with two coach candidates and that they won’t hire someone unless it is the perfect fit. He said MLS experience was not mandatory.

“MLS experience is not a hard-fast requirement; but if we brought a coach in who did not have MLS experience, then we’d certainly understand there’s a void there and add MLS experience to his immediate support staff,” McDonough said.

Inter Miami, which begins play in March 2020, last week signed its first two players — Argentine 19-year-olds Matias Pellegrini and Julian Carranza — and Venezuelan 19-year-old midfielder Christian Makoun is expected to be the third signing in the coming days. Makoun, captain of the Venezuelan U20 team, spent the past season with the Juventus U19 team after also being linked to Real Madrid and Arsenal.

Mas told reporters that the team had received more than 8,000 season ticket deposits for the inaugural season at 18,000-seat Lockhart Stadium. Pricing and ticket packages will be announced soon.

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