Inter Miami CF began their 2022 preseason slate Wednesday evening with a 4-0 win over Peruvian top-flight side Club Universitario de Deportes at DRV PNK Stadium, the first showcase of a revamped roster.
The hosts got goals from homegrown player Ian Fray, as well as a duo – Ethan Hardin and Harvey Neville – that spent time with now-MLS NEXT Pro side Fort Lauderdale CF last year. Fray missed the 2021 campaign with a torn ACL, while Neville is the son of head coach Phil Neville. Inter Miami’s sizable win started with a Universitario own goal.
In all, Phil Neville was left pleased with a mix-and-match group earning a positive result as a new-look squad coalesces in South Florida.
“What it did was gave our younger players especially and our new players an exposure to each other in a pressured situation,” Neville said postgame. “There were some really good bits and there were some bits we need to keep improving, but I thought it was an outstanding exercise and I’m really pleased.”
Balancing first-team players with youth prospects, Inter Miami’s starting XI was highlighted by midfielder Jean Mota and forward Gonzalo Higuain. The former was acquired from Brazilian side Santos FC this offseason, while the latter is a Designated Player who led their 2021 scoring charts with 12 goals and nine assists across 30 games (28 starts).
Inter Miami are still awaiting the preseason debut of newcomers like center back Damion Lowe, winger Emerson Rodriguez and forward Leonardo Campana. Starting goalkeeper Nick Marsman, midfielder/captain Gregore and left back Kieran Gibbs are all working back from injuries, too.
As preseason preparations continue, Inter Miami are building toward a Feb. 26 home opener against Chicago Fire FC.
- First Half: Nelson Cabanillas (OG), Ian Fray
- Second half: Harvey Neville, Ethan Hardin
- Clément Diop – Harvey Neville, Ian Fray, Aime Mabika, Chris McVey, Brek Shea – Victor Ulloa, Jean Mota; Ariel Lassiter, Robbie Robinson, Gonzalo Higuain
- Drake Callender, Ethan Hardin, Abel Caputo, Modesto Mendez, Romeo Beckham, George Acosta, Mo Adams, Edison Azcona, Shaan Hundal, Dairon Reyes, Lawson Sunderland, Tyler Bagley, Justin Ingram, Logan Batiste, Drew Hardin, Roger Penske