Can Inter Miami Become an MLS Juggernaut?

Can Inter Miami Become an MLS Juggernaut?Even though at no point in time did most pundits and fans ever consider David Beckham the best soccer player on the planet, there is no doubt that during the early-2000s, he was the sport’s­­ biggest star. Thus, even following the end of his playing career, the former English captain remained a media magnet. In 2014, he announced plans to bring Major League Soccer to Miami. Something discussed several times before.

Don Garber, MLS’ commissioner, publicly acknowledged in 2012 that the league had a renewed interest in placing an expansion franchise in Miami more than a decade after the Fusion folded and left the city soccer-free. The project officially got founded in January of 2018 when the MLS approved a franchise agreement for the Miami Beckham United group to own and operate the league’s 25th team.

Inter Miami played its first MLS game on March 1, 2020, with sportsbooks like the ones listed on accepting bets if the side would triumph over Los Angeles FC, which they did not. The club had a disappointing first season, finishing 19th overall and 10th in the Eastern Conference. Now everyone is wondering if they have what it takes to become one of the competition’s powerhouses, or will they become a massive bust?

What Is Miami’s Long-Term Strategy?

After David Beckham spent years lobbying for a new stadium, it took a considerable time for his club’s roster to get finalized. The debut squad consisted of a blend of players from four continents with different quality levels. Except for Gonzalo Higuaín, no super impressive names found their way onto the roster sheet, despite rumors that other faded stars may make the cut. Former Beckham teammate, Philip Neville, took over as head coach after the club’s disastrous start. However, England’s former fullback did not help steer things in the right direction, winning only two matches out of twelve games played.

Inter’s management had the idea that they could blend experience and upcoming talent into a winning concoction. Nevertheless, they could not attract high-level players in their debut season to lay an adequate foundation to attain success quickly. Instead, more focus got placed on managing the brand and developing it on social media.

Currently, Inter Miami has six youth teams starting from under twelve years old. It also has a deal with a team in the USL from them to poach talent from, so they have a dedication to nurturing home-grown players.

Recent Sanctions Could Be a Blessing

In May 2021, the MLS announced that Inter Miami CF violated the league’s salary budget and included two incorrect roster categorizations for Andres Reyes and Blaise Matuidi. As a result, the club received a penalty of $2 million and a $250,000 fine for Managing Owner Jorge Mas. The team also must reduce its salary cap for the next two seasons by $2.2 million.

Some pundits believe that this reprimand may serve as a blessing in disguise. It allows management to focus more on fostering team chemistry, developing local talent, and looking for cheaper signings with MLS experience instead of paying for expensive European quick fixes. Thus, this may be a slower but more stable way to the top.


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