Managing Owner and Sporting Director were interviewed a few days ago on Planet Fútbol by Luis Miguel Echegaray.
MIAMI, Fla. (October 9, 2019) —
Inter Miami Managing Owner Jorge Mas and Sporting Director Paul McDonough were in New York City for last weekend’s MLS Expansion Priority Draft, out of which Inter Miami CF won the coin toss and subsequently elected to take the first pick in the Expansion Draft and also opted to take the first pick in the MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas. While they were in the City, they had a chance to sit down with Planet Fútbol’s Luis Miguel Echegary, who had some questions for them about how Inter Miami is shaping up as we get close in on the inaugural season beginning in March 2020.
The interview was a positive one but also served to underscore just how complicated it actually is to launch a new team. That is, if you want to have the kind of immediate impact that Miami is determined to have.
Jorge Mas Talks On:
The Academy’s Progress
Jorge Mas was asked about how the club stands right now, both in terms of a roster perspective, the academy, and how things are looking as the club is built.
Mas said, “It’s been for us an element of pride, an area where we’re going to put a significant investment to the talent and youth that exists in South Florida.“ He continued, “I’m very hopeful that with Paul’s leadership and our coaching that we’re going to be able to have the best Academy system in the MLS to give these young men an opportunity to live out their dreams to be part of an MLS team, but also to open their opportunities to worldwide football if possible.”
The Team’s Player Search
“From a roster-building perspective, Paul and I have frequent flyer miles. We’ve been all over the world as we build a great roster,” Mas said. “Not only for great performance on the field, but to fit the style of Inter Miami. We want to be an aggressive offensive team. One that our community can be proud of. One that’s going to make a mark all over the world.”
The stadium at Miami Freedom Park
Jorge was also asked about Miami Freedom Park and what its timeline might look like.
“We had a referendum in Miami last November, where more than 60 percent gave us and the City of Miami a green light to go ahead and reach an agreement. We’re in the final stages of negotiating an agreement with the City of Miami,” he said. “I’m hopeful the next 45 to 60 days we’ll have that as a go.”
“We’ve been working on the concept design of the stadium; it’s probably 80 percent done,” Mas explained, adding “It’s going to be a beautiful stadium, state-of-the-art, with cutting-edge technology. It’s going to be an entertainment destination, food and beverage, hotel, tech hub. It’s going to be a huge economic driver for Miami and South Florida.”
“It’s located adjacent to Miami International Airport. 51 million people come in and out of that airport,” said Mas. “It’s the first thing they’ll see when they land in Miami and the last thing they see. So, they’re going to see a beautiful stadium and it’s going to put Miami on the global map for fútbol and soccer.”
The Manager Position And What The Club Is Looking For
Mas also touched on the club’s search for a coach and what the ownership group is looking for in potential candidates.
“I’m a huge believer that leadership matters,” he said. “We want a coach who can lead, who can not only lead the first team, but can set the tone in the academy system. [A coach] who can put his fingerprints on developing young players for the future and really the whole organisation.”
“Paul and I and David Beckham have been intimately involved in choosing a coach and interviewing potential coaches.”
“I think we’re very close to naming someone who is going to be an outstanding coach for Inter Miami and really is going to help us raise the game in America,” said Mas. “But the profile of the coach we want is that person who has international standing, who has coached at the highest levels, who has played at the highest levels, who hopefully has played in a World Cup, played in Champions League, coached at that level, coached academy teams, and been able to bring young great players and develop them to be great professionals because that’s what we want.
And also, from a personal aspect, that they’re going to fit in South Florida, that they’re going to be able to represent our team as we want, that they will be able to articulate our vision. We’re close and hopefully we will be announcing the coach in the next three or four weeks.”
What Fans Should Know About Inter Miami
“Well first it’s going to be a club that is going to win,” said Mas. “It’s going to be a club that’s going to compete for championships. It’s going to be a club that is going to have among its roster and its ranks some of the most talented players in the world”,” Mas said. “We’re going to be the centre of fútbol in the United States.”
“We will be truly a global team. Miami is embraced by so many nationalities from so many backgrounds, it’s truly a melting pot and a cultural mosaic,” he added. “We’re going to be a reflection of our community.”
“Our Team Is The People’s Team.”
Paul McDonough Discusses:
Club ‘s Identity From a Player Perspective
Players Signed So Far
The Inter Miami CF Sporting Director was asked to talk about how the players signed by the club thus far shape the club’s identity.
“We wanted to bring in young, attacking players, players that could come here that, we could develop and then we can move on to Europe, very much like the Miguel Almiron’s of the world.
“I think it’s important to have young [players], but I think in our market we need to have some older players that can handle the pressure much more than the young ones can right away,” he added.
Designated Players and Upcoming Signings
“We’re definitely going to have three DP’s,” McDonough said.
“We’ve definitely been linked with a lot of players because of our ownership group, the city, David’s [Beckham] reach is enormous, so we’re linked with a lot of players. Some are true and some are not. But it has been truly been amazing, the interest and the players that have contacted us wanting to play in Miami.”Paul McDonough, Sporting Director
“We started with signing young players,” said McDonough. “Now we’ll add MLS experience to the group and we’re going to add some foreign international players to help bring these guys along and help us be successful from day one.”
Listen to the complete 12-minute interview: