Just over two months out from their first MLS match, Inter Miami CF have named Uruguay native Diego Alonso as head coach for the inaugural campaign, the club announced Monday.
Alonso, 44, has twice won the Concacaf Champions League with Liga MX clubs, once apiece with Pachuca in 2016 and Monterrey in 2019. Alonso is the only head coach in history to win the Concacaf Champions League with two different teams and is now only the second current MLS coach to have won the competition, in its current format. He was fired by Monterrey in late September and has since been working as a TV analyst in his home country.
“In Diego we found a manager that fits our culture and has a strong desire to build a winning club for our fans. He brings a lot of experience and championship-winning mentality as we begin our drive to be among the best clubs in the Americas,” said Inter Miami sporting director Paul McDonough in a statement. “We have big aspirations for our club and believe Diego has the right drive, passion and leadership to accomplish our goals.”
Before coaching in Liga MX, Alonso had stints at Paraguayan outfits Club Olimpia and Club Guarani, as well as Uruguayan ones Peñarol and Bella Vista. A striker during his playing days, Alonso notably played in Spain for Atletico Madrid, Malaga, Racing Santander, Real Murcia and Valencia. He’s also played in China for Shanghai Shenhua and Pumas in Mexico, among others, and made eight appearances for the Uruguay national team.
On the sidelines at Pachuca, Alonso also brought Los Tuzos to a 2016 Clausura title and third-place finish at the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup. His overall record in Liga MX was 105-65-58.
He led Monterrey from May 2018 until September 2019, and only a year after his arrival, he guided the team to the prestigious Concacaf Champions League title, triumphing over rivals Tigres UANL in the final. The victory earned Rayados a spot in the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup. Alonso also led the team to the 2018 Copa MX Apertura final in his first year.
As Alonso assumes the reigns in Miami, an ever-spinning rumor mill has reached its conclusion. Over the last several months, former New York City FC boss Patrick Vieira, former D.C. United midfielder Marcelo Gallardo and now-Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti have all been linked to the job.
The move also continues a growing trend of South American coaches in MLS, with the Argentine duo of Guillermo Barros Schelotto (LA Galaxy) and Matias Almeyda (San Jose Earthquakes) both joining ahead of the 2019 season. Further, the news leaves only New York City FC with a coaching vacancy ahead of 2020, all after Chicago Fire FC named Raphael Wicky as head coach over the weekend.
Alonso will have two months to get up to speed, as Inter Miami kick off their first MLS season March 1 at LAFC.