Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami releases stunning new preview of home stadium at Miami Freedom Park.
Miami, Fla. (Tuesday, April 9, 2019) – by Kenneth Russo
Miami has always been about the dream. Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain was no stranger to Miami. He liked Miami because of its promise and opportunity:
“We really look at Miami as the original dream, and try to go back to that notion — the promise of if you’re good and you do right in your life and you work hard, we all end up in Miami.”
Anthony Bourdain, 2015.
Inter Miami CF’s dream was shared in a little more detail today:
The club today released new renderings of its intended permanent home at Miami Freedom Park. Beginning with an image of a great white heron in its native South Florida habitat, the video transforms as the bird takes flight, transforming itself into a sweeping, majestic, laser-lighted canopy of the stadium. One glance makes it clear that this stadium will check all the boxes: the latest (presumably 5G) technology, beautiful sight lines, a massive wall of a supporters’ section, luxury suites, clubs and entertainment options before and after a match.
Prior to the vote in November, in which a majority of Miami city voters approved allowing the city to negotiate a lease of the land needed for building both the stadium and adjacent Miami Freedom Park, the words spoken were “this won’t just be a soccer stadium.” And they were right. This is a transformation, a vision, and the best is yet to come.
They call it “the beautiful game,” and in Miami the game won’t be the only thing they call beautiful. It takes a lot to get this town’s attention, and in Miami, sizzle and sexy are what sells. The new permanent home stadium for Inter Miami CF promises to deliver these attributes to an international fan base that is knowledgeable and passionate for fútbol.
A pure masterpiece, this stadium is the pièce de résistance befitting of MLS’ first global club.
Toronto Football Club adquirió a Pozuelo, quien tuve un partido espectacular en su debut.
La llegada a Toronto fue complicado.
Han sido unos meses complicados para Alejandro Pozuelo, quien decidió concluir su aventura en el Genk belga, y finalmente llegó oficialmente a Toronto FC recientemente.
Ahora con el club canadiense, antés de su debut ante NYCFC, solo esperaba poder hacer su debut junto a sus nuevos compañeros el viernes. Dijó, “Puedo estar listo para el viernes, si el entrenador quiere”, Pozuelo le dijo a la página oficial del club.
Todos esperaban que Alejandro hagaría su debut ante los neoyorquinos y club tienía “confianza que Pozuelo está en un estado físico apropiado para jugar sin ninguna limitación”. Hablando de la vida en Toronto Pozuelo dijo, estoy muy encantado en estos primeros días. “Estoy muy feliz”.
“Toronto es la mejor opción para mi. “He estado aquí apenas unos días, pero la gente en la ciudad y en el club son familia. Es como en España, la gente es interesante.”
Alejandro Pozuelo, Toronto FC
“Mi esposa y mis hijos son lo más importante en mi vida”, añadió Pozuelo. “Me dan soporte cuando las cosas no van bien. Si mi esposa e hijos están felices, yo también lo estoy, y esta es la mejor ciudad para ellos”.
Anticipación Antes Su Primer Partido.
En el campo, Pozuelo no pudo esperar para ver acción. Estaba ansioso y hambriento por conseguir puntos, y ayudar a los Escarlatas a llegar a las alturas alcanzadas en 2017 cuando ganaron el histórico triplete.
“Una cosa importante para que yo llegara aquí, es que quieren ganar”, dijo Pozuelo. “Es importante. Tenemos que ganar, necesitamos jugar bien. El club tiene una muy buena filosofía”.
Partidazo En Su Debut
No pudo estar mejor en el día en el que se puso por primera vez la camiseta del Toronto en el terreno de juego.
Fue titular y, a los 29 minutos, ya demostró por qué lo habían fichado. Una gran asistencia para que Altidore inaugurar el marcador. Pura magia del ex del Betis.
Pero su actuación se iba a endulzar todavía más en la segunda mitad. Ha sido el último en llegar y ya fue el designado para lanzar el penalti que supuso el 2-0. Lejos de ponerse nervioso, el andaluz decidió lanzar ‘a lo Panenka’ para deleite de su afición.
No terminaría allí. El ‘show’ de Pozuelo no podría terminar de otra manera que de una manera grande. Recibió el balón en el borde del área y, cuando todos esperaban un disparo fuerte, decidió morder el balón al portero con un lóbulo casi perfecto. Como si se tratara de una pena máxima ‘a la panenka’.
Una actuación estelar en su estreno en la MLS. Pura magia que ya demostró durante su etapa en la Liga Española, en el Real Betis, donde dio sus primeros pasos como profesional.
Miami, Fla. (Tuesday, March 26, 2019) – Kenneth Russo
We received more insight into how Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami is thinking about filling out its roster in advance of its inaugural season in 2020, by way of recent interviews. (1) see link below
In charge of building Miami is Sporting Director Paul McDonough, who was interviewed for MLSSoccer.com and offered some insight. Prior to being named as Miami’s Sporting Director, Paul, a Massachusetts native, was instrumental in building Atlanta United’s MLS Cup Championship team, and prior to that, also developed the roster for Orlando City Soccer Club for heir first its season in 2015. He has also coached on a university level including Assistant Coach positions at the University of Connecticut, University of South Carolina, Wake Forest University, and the University of South Carolina-Spartanburg. At UConn he assisted with all aspects of the day-to-day operations of the Husky soccer program, with an emphasis on the recruiting portion. He has been a player representative for several years.
Expertise Building Expansion Clubs:
If soccer had an official designation of “expert”, McDonough could realistically carry that label; in fact it’s safe to say he has more experience building MLS expansion teams than anyone. The results also make for a compelling case.
Orlando City SC 2014-2015
In 2014, during Orlando City’s final USL season, the club named Adrian Heath its head coach and hired Paul McDonough to be general manager. Paul outlined a three-year plan to becoming an MLS Cup contender. He was also able to sign Brazilian star Kaká, who was a friend of owner Flávio Augusto da Silva and CEO Alex Leitão. Paul focused on bringing in young talent to fill out the roster. U.S. youth internationals Tommy Redding and Tyler Turner were signed and played with the first team in 2014. Additionally, Portuguese youth international Rafael Ramos was signed. Paul obtained Cyle Larin in the MLS SuperDraft. Kaká was the top paid player that season, and the other two available Designated Player slots went to a pair of young internationals — Carlos Rivas, a speedy striker from Colombia, and Bryan Rochez, a strong striker from Honduras. Orlando City was an in-form side late in the season and finished just one position in the table and five points out of the playoffs with a 12-14-8 record, still the club’s best-ever mark in MLS. When the club instituted a shake up of the front office after the season ended, Paul found himself demoted. He thereafter left the club.
The team-building plan Paul unveiled in Orlando also worked in Atlanta. With ownership under Arthur Blank committed to spending money, he built a strong, young team that could compete early. He used a similar pattern of roster-building, signing a primary Designated Player and a pair of younger Designated Players. The DP was 23-year-old Venezuelan Josef Martinez who was transferred from Torino of Serie A, as well as young DPs Miguel Almirón and Héctor Villalba. The expansion side reached the playoffs. It it was Paul’s knowledge of how to maximize the MLS roster rules and roster building mechanisms that brought Atlanta to the summit, allowing them to pair Almirón, Martinez and Villalba with players like veterans Michael Parkhurst, Brad Guzan and Jeff Larentowicz, plus Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Julian Gressel, Carlos Carmona, Darlington Nagbe and Ezequiel Barco. That team finished the 2017 MLS season tied for fifth all-time in goals scored in a single-season (70), and fourth all-time in goal differential (+30). The trio of Designated Players in Martinez, Almirón and Villalba combined to score 41 goals – a higher total than five other MLS teams in 2017.
Taking those experiences into account, here are some of Paul’s thoughts as to the structure of Inter Miami, its style of play and the type of players he is looking at.
Miami will likely resemble more Atlanta than Orlando in terms of spending. Indeed, within MLS at the present time there seems to be two camps of owner/investors; those who want to push for more spending and those who would prefer to keep a tight lid on spending. Miami will be a club not afraid to splash the cash for the right players.
In an interview Monday, March 25, 2019 with Magic City Soccer, Managing Partner Jorge Mas had this to say:
With his experience in Orlando and Atlanta to draw on, McDonough knows how to properly build a successful expansion team. Make no mistake, this will be a high pressure situation, and Miami sports fans are not known for their patience. However, the resources are there, and the owners feel he is exactly the man who can make it all come together.
McDonough says he will use all three Designated Player (“DP’s”) spots in Miami’s first season in the league, with two of those players on the books by the time the 2020 campaign begins. A third could be on the roster in time for opening day, though McDonough said that third DP could also join over the summer. To some degree it depends on which DP the club goes for first. Each DP signing impacts what player the club might pursue for the second DP, and same for the third.
The club is actively putting the “Internacional” in Miami’s name to good use. Engaging in a worldwide scouting effort, McDonough, technical director Kurt Schmid, a longtime scout with Seattle and the LA Galaxy, and Director of Soccer Operations Niki Budalic, formerly Orlando City’s GM, have attended games on several continents in recent weeks. They’re not currently involved in negotiations with any players, but McDonough said they are having “informal discussions” regarding several. We should expect the first signings over the summer and into fall. Meanwhile, the Inter Miami CF Academy is expected to launch in the summer.
Miami being the attraction that it is, the rumour mill is in full swing about which players will arrive. In all cases, the names are big ones. Inter Miami is prepared to pay large transfer fees or salaries on the right players.
McDonough didn’t say whether he is looking at a big name like he had in Orlando City with Kaká, or gather several young talented players like he did in Atlanta. He did say that if they go for a big star, then that requires at least another player who has the ability to complement the big star. Otherwise, the big star can become overburdened.
“In Atlanta, the ambition was known right out of the gate: We were going to try to be competitive from Day 1,” McDonough told MLSsoccer.com.
“We spent that way, that was the approach, to be very competitive in Year 1 but not go crazy so that we could keep the roster together and make a serious push in Year 2. And look, it worked out perfectly. And this in Miami, the ambition will be very much the same.”
Paul McDonough, Inter Miami CF Sporting Director
“I think the thing with Atlanta, the young DPs all were similar age and I think that was really, really important,” he said. “Targeted Allocation Money allowed us to build more of a balanced team when you had Chris McCann, Carlos Carmona, Leandro, Guzan and Parkhurst as our main guys, so the experiences and the balance in age was better for Atlanta. Whereas in Orlando, you had Kaká and a bunch of young kids we were trying to build around. And in all honesty, it probably just wasn’t fair to Kaká. You look back on it and that’s my concern, if I brought one big DP in, I would need to bring some guys in that had experiences that mean they’re basically allowed to be in the same dressing room as that guy, that have the experiences of playing in big games at big clubs and things like that.”
Tactically, expect Miami to play “in an attractive, attacking style,” says McDonough, without elaborating on any particular formation.
The eventual manager will need to be able to function well in Miami’s international, multicultural atmosphere, as well as be adept at managing big personalities, who often carry a reputation for being difficult to manage. A great manager finds a way to get the most from his players. McDonough’s experience should help in this area too. “It’s super, super important that we get someone that can handle the pressure and the big personalities that potentially could be here,” he said.
“Look, this is really big challenge. Professional soccer in South Florida, it’s been a mess for quite a while,” he said. “I tell everyone, I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I have to pick a direction and make decisions that’s best for the club and really what’s going to be best for soccer in South Florida. And they’re all kind of waiting to see if we deliver on what we say. I tell the guys, it’s just really, really important that whatever we say we’re going to do, we do well, and we follow through. We have to. We’re going to be the stewards of soccer in South Florida. We have to do this right.”
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Thursday, March 14, 2019) – Kenneth Russo
Inter Miami CF wins!
In the end, City of Fort Lauderdale commissioners agreed that there was only one choice. On Tuesday, they unanimously selected the bid by Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami, and David Beckham’s vision for bringing the club’s permanent training centre and home to its youth academy to Fort Lauderdale.
Included in the club’s plan is a new Lockhart Stadium, which will serve as Internacional’s home stadium in 2020 and 2021, as well as the permanent home of the club’s USL One affiliate.
Marlins Park, Hard Rock Stadium, and Riccardo Silva Stadium on the campus of Florida International University had all been considered as temporary venues, but Inter Miami officials opted for Lockhart.
If all goes as planned, the construction of an 18,000-seat modular stadium, complete with a shade canopy, at 1350 NW 55 St in Fort Lauderdale, should begin in July, making it ready for Inter Miami CF’s first season. Next year’s MLS calendar has yet to be revealed, but traditionally the league begins play on the first full weekend in March, which next year would mean Saturday, March 7, 2020.
Highlighting the Difference in Government Efficiency
Inter Miami only placed a bid on the city-owned property in Fort Lauderdale at the end of January. In less than two months, they presented their proposal and obtained the approval of city commissioners to negotiate a lease. Meanwhile, in Miami… More than four years passed between David Beckham’s initial announcement in 2014 that he had chosen Miami as the city for his MLS team, before he and his partners finally were able to make progress. And the process in Miami is still not complete, despite a large approval (over 60%) by voters last November to transform Melreese Golf Course into the home stadium for Inter Miami CF as well as a the creation of Miami’s largest park (Miami Freedom Park), public soccer fields, a technology hub, office, hotel and entertainment space.
Fort Lauderdale Commissioners Saw the Value
After hearing proposals by both Inter Miami and a competing bid by FXE Futbol, city commissioners voted to rank the Inter Miami CF proposal higher than the FXE Futbol proposal, and the commission voted Tuesday night to allow negotiations to begin.
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis and Commissioner Ben Sorensen were understandably happy with the decision by Inter Miami to invest in the city, an investment estimated to be worth $30 to $60 million. “It’s a great day for Fort Lauderdale,” Commissioner Sorensen said.
During the round-table meeting, comissioners watched animated renderings on a flat-screen television of visions by architecture firms hired by Inter Miami CF, a Major League Soccer franchise, and FXE Futbol, which was hopeful of being granted a United Soccer League franchise to compete in the USL Championship (2nd Division). However, FXE Futbol had not actually submitted a formal application to USL, per USL sources. They instead decided to wait until obtaining the right to negotiate with the City of Fort Lauderdale before applying. They also disclosed during hearings that they would be seeking additional investors as part of their bid for the project and USL franchise.
Both of the plans involved demolishing the abandoned Lockhart Stadium, which first opened in 1959 and was named after a former Fort Lauderdale commissioner. The adjacent former baseball stadium will also be demolished. Inter Miami CF’s designs were created by Manica Architecture, which specialises in the design of international sport venues. Inter Miami CF’s vision will be entirely privately funded.
South Florida Soccer Icon Weighs In
Ray Hudson, 63, was in his usual ecstatic form. The former English soccer player has good memories at the now abandoned Lockhart Stadium. After playing for the Newcastle United, he moved to South Florida in 1977 to play for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
The midfielder played for them until 1992, and then went on to coach the Miami Fusion, a former MLS team based out of Lockhart Stadium. He now works as a commentator on beIN Sports covering La Liga games and radio host for SiriusXM FC 157.
Commitment to Fort Lauderdale is Long-Term
In a non-solicited proposal originally submitted to Fort Lauderdale on January 28, 2019, Inter Miami committed to privately fund the design, development, construction, maintenance, and operation of a state-of-the-art soccer training complex that includes an 18,000-seat stadium, as well as several community facilities, including a public park, at the 65-acre site. The total investment in Fort Lauderdale will be on the order of $60 Million, half of which will go into building the new Lockhart.
Mas said recently he was “very excited” about his team’s proposal to develop the publicly owned Lockhart Stadium grounds in Fort Lauderdale as a state-of-the-art training site that would double as a youth-development academy.
“We’re going to build a new stadium there. It’s not a refurbishment of Lockhart. It will be a new stadium for a (second-tier) USL team and a soccer-centric academy. We’ll be able to host tournaments and other games there.”
– Jorge Mas, Managing Owner, Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami.
Even after Inter Miami CF moves to Miami Freedom Park adjacent to Miami International Airport, Inter Miami CF promises not to abandon the property. The team says it is applying for a USL franchise. USL forms the second and third tier of US Soccer. Inter Miami plans to run a club competing in USL League One. (Third Tier) This club will remain permanently at Lockhart and will allow locals to see players develop before hopefully being selected to the senior squad.
The team also said that the site will be used for the franchise’s youth academy. It will be the longest distance from the home stadium to an academy in MLS, but this only underscores the huge amount of territory that South Florida spans.
“Our ownership group has spent months carefully discussing venue options to launch Inter Miami CF’s inaugural season in MLS, while we build Miami Freedom Park,” said Inter Miami CF Sporting Director Paul McDonough. “Ultimately we decided to expand our vision for the Fort Lauderdale project to launch our first two seasons in the League the right way. Our goal is to provide fans with the most captivating soccer atmosphere and gameday experience, and we did not believe this would be possible at the venues we evaluated.”
Ability to Attract Talent To The Academy A Factor
The Sporting Director also pointed out that having an Academy in the middle of the urban South Florida area made good sense. “I think the decision for us was: We want to be South Florida’s team, and our youth territory stretches all the way south from Homestead, all the way north to Palm Beach,” McDonough said. “So we figured that if we wanted to capture the best players for our developmental system, we thought that this site gave us the best opportunity.
“Yeah, the history of everything that’s happened at that site was really neat, but I think it was really important that we captured the best players — but also that we are South Florida’s team.”
Aside from the soccer-performance facilities and fields, Inter Miami plans to build several public features, including parks and soccer fields. The site could also host concerts, high-school sports, and other events. The team said there will be no commercial development on the property. Fort Lauderdale will only have to maintain the four community soccer fields being built. Inter Miami CF will maintain its seven soccer fields it intends to build.
The next step in this process will be for the City and Inter Miami CF to agree on the terms on the long-term lease. Building permits will also need to be procured. The plan is to begin construction in July, 2019.
Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami Hires Javier Morales to Team’s Academy
Miami, FL (February 22, 2019) –
Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami (“Inter Miami CF”) has hired former Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas star Javier Morales to the team’s Academy coaching staff.
“We are thrilled to welcome Javier to our club. He has played at the highest level, both in MLS and internationally, and his experience will be invaluable for our Academy players as we build our foundation and begin play later this year. We are excited to work with him in the next phase of his career as a coach.”
Sporting Director Paul McDonough
Morales joins Miami after working as the U-13 Academy Coach with FC Dallas. In his one season in that role, he led the youth team to an international championship at the 2018 Copa Rayados Internacional tournament in Mexico.
He earned the nickname “El Maestro” as one of the best playmakers in MLS, Morales spent 10 seasons with Real Salt Lake, from 2007-16, where he was a star performer for head coach Jason Kreis (who is also on the Inter Miami CF coaching staff) and played on the 2009 MLS Cup Championship Team. He also appeared as a Finalist on numerous occasions including the 2011 Concacaf Champions League, 2013 MLS Cup and 2013 U.S. Open Cup.
Did You Know? Morales finished his career with FC Dallas in 2017, becoming a member of the elite “50-50 club” designated for those MLS players who have been credited with 50 goals and 50 assists, becoming the 17th player in MLS history to accomplish the feat.
A native of Lomas de Zamora, Argentina (b. Jan 10, 1980) Morales played for Lanús and Arsenal de Sarandí, as well as Newell’s Old Boys and Instituto de Cordoba, before making his move to MLS.
Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami Anuncia Llegada de Javier Morales a la Academia del Equipo
Miami, FL. (viernes, 22 de febrero de 2019) –
Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami anunció hoy la contratación de Javier Morales como entrenador de la Academia del equipo.
“Estamos emocionados al darle la bienvenida a Javier al club. Javier ha jugado en grandes clubes tanto en la MLS como a nivel internacional, y su experiencia será muy beneficiosa para los jugadores de la academia conforme vamos construyendo los cimientos de la misma, con vista a jugar este mismo año.”
Paul McDonough, Director Deportivo del Inter Miami CF.
Morales llega al Inter Miami del FC Dallas, donde el año pasado fue entrenador del equipo Sub-13. De la mano de Morales, el equipo se coronó campeón del torneo internacional 2018 Copa Rayados que se celebró en México.
Llegó al FC Dallas en 2017. Con Dallas acabó su carrera como un miembro del “club 50-50” que alberga a aquellos jugadores de MLS que han sido acreditados con 50 goles y 50 asistencias. Es el decimoséptimo jugador en la historia de la MLS en conseguir este logro.
Apodado “El Maestro” por ser uno de los mejores jugadores creativos la MLS, Morales jugó 10 temporadas con el Real Salt Lake (2007 al 2016) bajo la batuta de Jason Kreis ganando la Copa MLS en el 2009. También fue finalista en torneos como la Liga de Campeones de Concacaf en 2011, la Copa MLS en 2013 y el U.S Open Cup en 2011.
En su carrera en la MLS, Morales jugo un total de 255 partidos, anotando 50 goles y marcando 83 asistencias.
Antes de unirse al RSL, Morales jugó en su nativa Argentina para el Club Atlético Lanús, el Arsenal de Sarandí, así como de Newell´s Old Boys y el Instituto Córdoba.
Miami, FL (Wednesday February 20, 2019) – Kenneth Russo –
Another potential site for the temporary home of Inter Miami CF has emerged, according to information discovered via social media feeds. On February 12, 2019, officials from the MLS club, Dennis Sprenkle, the Vice-President of HR and Administration, and Jurgen Mainka, Director of Commercial, met with the President of Saint Thomas University, David A. Armstrong, J.D. at the team’s Miami offices.
Inter Miami CF is in need of securing a home for its inaugural season beginning in March 2020, and in all likelihood for the 2021 season as well. The Club had been in talks with MLB’s Miami Marlins to play at Marlins Park, but the two sides could not reach an accord. They also reportedly have talked to RSE Ventures about leasing Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, but again without an agreement being struck.
The third choice for a temporary home has usually focused on Riccardo Silva Stadium at Florida International University. Located in the western part of Miami-Dade County, that site also has its complications, the primary obstacle being that Inter Miami CF would be the third tenant, and would be required to adjust its home dates to fit in with FIU Football and the Miami Football Club, a non division team owned in part by Silva which played in the now defunct NASL. Also, the location is less-than-ideal, as it is far from the urban core of Miami.
At the meeting with St. Thomas on February 12, the two sides talked about potential partnerships with the University and with the St. Thomas University Sports Administration Program.
Founded in 1961 as Biscayne College by the order of Augustinian Friars, the private Catholic institution achieved university status in 1984, operates one of only two accredited Catholic law schools south of Washington, D.C., and offers multiple degrees at the bachelor and master level. It has an undergraduate enrollment of 4,280, and its current campus size is 140 acres, according to the latest U.S. News & World Report survey of colleges and universities. The university listed 28 acres of land for sale in August 2018. The sale of the land, located along the Palmetto Expressway, would be used to strengthen its endowment and finance strategic projects, according to President David A. Armstrong.
St. Thomas University has recently added men’s American Football to its university sports program, with games beginning in Fall 2019, but has yet to announce where it will play those home games. Presently, there is no football stadium on the campus. It is also entirely possible that St. Thomas is interested in using the eventual Miami Freedom Park Stadium. No one has ever mentioned Inter Miami CF sharing its home with other teams, but it wouldn’t be unprecedented either. Within MLS, Toronto FC has allowed the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts to use BMO Field; Los Angeles Galaxy’s Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson California is the temporary home of the relocated NFL Chargers; FC Dallas’ home is used for American Football.
Geographically, St. Thomas’ location in northern Miami-Dade County make it an ideal site for Inter Miami CF, as the location is easily accessible by car from both Miami and Broward County. The university also has experience in hosting a soccer club, having been the home grounds of the aforementioned Miami FC while the club dropped down to play in the NPSL. St. Thomas controls a large amount of land and has the room necessary to construct a football stadium for its newly launched university team.
If there is anything to the possibility of constructing a temporary home at St. Thomas, plans would have to occur quickly. The time factor gives rise to another potential: the use of a modular stadium. This has been a popular solution for USL teams. For example, Phoenix Rising FC have constructed a modular stadium for its home games, while building the club’s fanbase and developing plans for a permanent stadium as part of its very strong expansion bid to Major League Soccer. Phoenix’ modular stadium has 6,000 seats, and building one for Inter Miami CF would require at least 15,000 to be a viable option and to meet MLS standards.
The Los Angeles Galaxy are over-the-limit. The club went to training camp this season with four designated players [DPs], one over the league limit. They must solve the problem prior to the March 1, 2019 roster compliance date. In December, LA signed star player Zlatan Ibrahimović to a league-record $7.2-million contract, putting him into the category of a DP.
2018 – 2019 MLS Player Salaries (As of September 15th, 2018)
Jonathan dos Santos
Giovani dos Santos
*Ibrahimović has since signed a new contract and is now a DP.
Various options exist to solve this problem. One option the team has is to restructure the contract of one of its other three DPs to squeeze the contract under the league’s salary cap. Or it could take the financially painful path and give Giovani dos Santos the $6-million-plus he’s owed in the final year of his deal, then transfer him to another club.
The latter option did not receive a warm welcome with Gio’s brother, Jonathan dos Santos. “Gio queda,” said Jonathan, insisting in Spanish. “The team needs him. He’s a good player. Not all teams have a player with the quality of Giovani and we need him this year and he’s going to stay. No doubt.” New coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto wouldn’t say if he agreed with that. But he didn’t disagree either.
The rumour of a trade of Gio has been the most persistent offseason speculation, either via a transfer, with LA likely picking up part of his salary, or the club buying out his contract – or a transfer sending Romain Alessandrini to Montreal, but Barros Schelotto would prefer to keep all four.
What will happen? If the club cannot transfer Gio, then the next most-likely scenario would be for Alessandrini, dos Santos, or his brother Jonathan dos Santos – to take a restructured deal or for the Galaxy to use Targeted Allocation Money (“TAM”) to lessen his impact under the salary cap.
Barros Schelotto insists, “We don’t have any problem about the designated player. We are talking with the player about that, an no problem. I think maybe it can happen. I think we need to talk with him.” Who the manager means when he says “him” is not clear.
For his part, Alessandrini thinks he’s earned his DP stature: “If I have to choose, I stay there. I stay, like, as a DP,” the French winger said. “I don’t want to be too much confident, but we work I did the last two years, I think I have to stay like a DP. We’ll see what’s going to happen. “The club has to make a choice. Soccer is complicated sometimes, but it is what it is. We’ll see what [the club is] going to do, and we have to accept it.”
«Si je dois choisir, je reste là. Je reste comme un DP », a déclaré l’ailier français. «Je ne veux pas être trop confiant, mais nous travaillons comme je l’ai fait ces deux dernières années, je pense que je dois rester comme un DP. Nous verrons ce qui va se passer.
«Le club doit faire un choix. Le football est compliqué parfois, mais c’est ce que c’est. Nous verrons ce que le club va faire et nous devons l’accepter.»
Ibrahimovic says he hopes all three players will be on the Galaxy side this year “Hopefully, everybody gets satisfied and happy, and we can continue to work just like we’re doing.”
“Gio quiere quedarse aquí”, dijo Jonathan a periodistas en Los Ángeles en noviembre. “Sabe que este año fue complicado. Tuvo la desgracia y la mala suerte de no poder jugar muchos partidos”.
“Creo que Giovani tiene que estar aquí, es un gran jugador, es un jugador importante para nosotros”, dijo Jonathan. “Lo extrañé y todo el equipo lo extrañó mucho la temporada pasada. No dependería de esa decisión si el equipo ya no quiere a Giovani en el Galaxy, no creo que eso suceda”.
“Para mí, Giovani es un jugador que tiene que estar aquí. Tiene que ser el mejor jugador del equipo la próxima temporada y mostrar al gran jugador que es”.
Jonathan Dos Santos
Asked about the coming season, Barros Schelotto said, “I think we have a really good roster, but maybe we can get [additional players], more in defense. We are seeing our possibilities. We have important players like Ibra, Romain, both Dos Santos, so we will see what possibilities we have so that all our players have the freedom to feel comfortable on the field and give their best.”