ORLANDO, Fla. — Inter Miami isn't going to enter MLS in 2020 quietly, that much is for sure.
Ample work remains on the roster front, not to mention hiring a coaching staff to lead the roster sporting director Paul McDonough assembles. Nonetheless, Mas is confident.
“We’re going to have a very good team, we want to help elevate the league," Mas told reporters after a Board of Governors meeting, hours before the 2019 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target this past Wednesday. "Being from a gateway to the Americas, we’re going to have players from South and Central America. We’ll have European players. We want to elevate the quality of the game in America and bring up MLS. We have an ownership group that’s committed to investing in players, to invest in young players, to invest in players who can make a difference for us.”
As for the coaching staff, movement behind the scenes is set for an announcement "soon."
“We’ve interviewed probably half a dozen serious candidates, we’re down to two or three," Mas said. "We’ve been looking at coaches that coached at the highest levels – they’ve been very good players in their own right. We’re going to play an attacking style of football led by David Beckham’s vision and shared by ownership. We want a coach to fit in that can establish not only a winning culture, but building an institution to succeed. We’re looking beyond year one, year two, year three.”
Miami have long spoken about the brand of soccer the club intends to play, one similar to recent expansion sides Atlanta United and LAFC. The former won MLS Cup in their second year, while the latter holds a comfortable lead atop the Supporters' Shield standings in 2019.
“Those are the models I followed. (Miami sporting director) Paul McDonough helped build Atlanta," Mas said. "The fan experience at LAFC is fantastic, I really enjoyed going to the two games I attended there. They did their stadium the right way for the L.A. market, which is similar to the Miami market in many ways. What Atlanta has done is mind-blowing in terms of fan support. We’re trying to see best practices, even how they built their rosters.”
While the club was initially linked mainly with global stars at the end of their prime, Miami appear to have a different plan.
They made a pair of highly-rated 19-year-olds the first signings in club history, with Matias Pellegrini and forward Julian Carranza. The latest news is they'll next sign 19-year-old Venezuelan Christian Makoun.
“We signed Matias Pellegrini and forward Julian Carranza, who were looked at by high-profile European teams," Mas said. "They want to be in Miami. They’re young players, so you need veteran leaders around them, veteran leaders who have played in World Cups and Champions League games. You’ll see more young signings coming soon, high-profile players. We’re investing in these players, paying significant transfer fees."