Rodolfo Pizarro - Inter Miami - 03/01/20

Looking for an MLS is Back Tournament dark horse? Rodolfo Pizarro has a pick for you.

“I think we all envision advancing from the group and getting to the final,” the Inter Miami CF midfielder said in a media call Monday. “That’s everyone’s objective. I think we did things well during the hiatus and we’re eager and motivated to have a good showing.”

While the Mexican international thinks the expansion side can make a deep run, Pizarro knows Inter Miami have a tricky opening match of the tournament Wednesday (8 pm ET | ESPN, ESPN Deportes, TSN, TVAS) against Orlando City SC.

“I think it’s going to be an even game. I think it’s going to be tough because we’ve not played a 90-minute game,” Pizarro said. “It’s going to be a match that will be back and forth. They have good players. I think in the beginning it’s going to be complicated to play without fans, but I think the motivation comes from winning and wanting to take the three points. We don’t have more motivation than that: win games.”

Pizarro knows when the tournament begins, and whenever Inter Miami play, the pressure is on for him to produce. That's a responsibility he understands and accepts.

“I’m focused on what I want and what I came here for. Yes, I have a lot of responsibility to be one of the principal axes in the team’s attack,” he said. “I have a lot of responsibilities and I know I have a lot of things to accomplish here.”

Pizarro also backed fellow countryman Carlos Vela’s decision to opt out of playing for family concerns.

“I think it’s a personal decision,” he said of the LAFC superstar. “The birth of his son, I think, is a justification for this. It’s not an issue. I’m focused and I’m thinking about what’s coming up for my team.”

And what’s coming up for Inter Miami is a much anticipated return to the field and, Pizarro hopes, the club’s first championship in Orlando.

“I’m excited to finally play after so many months — to play our first game. All of us feel the same way,” Pizarro said. "We want to win all the games and we want to surprise in this tournament and fight for the title.”