At long last, Inter Miami have their inaugural head coach. Just in time, too, as players report for preseason in less than a month.
Miami appointed Diego Alonso to lead their first season in MLS, the two-time Concacaf Champions League winner with Liga MX clubs Pachuca (2017) and Monterrey (2019). The 44-year-old comes to Miami with an impressive resume and high expectations.
While their coaching search became a hot-topic discussion, exacerbated by fellow expansion side Nashville SC having hired their head coach in March as well as higher-ups at Miami suggesting a hire would be coming "soon" since the summer, those at the club were never worried.
BREAKING NEWS: Inter Miami ‘blocks out noise,’ hires Uruguayan Diego Alonso as first head coachhttps://t.co/N2LN4vs8Ip @MiamiHerald @HeraldSports @InterMiamiCF @MLS @AlonsoDT #MLS #Rayados #InterMiamiCF— Michelle Kaufman (@kaufsports) December 30, 2019
“I understand the anxiety of the fans about the timeline and what we’re doing, but when you’re building a club, you want to do as much homework and research as you can,” sporting director Paul McDonough told the Miami Herald.
“This market is unique because we’re linked, whether it’s on the players or the coaches, with so many people. Some are true and some are not true. Some things are fabricated by people outside the club just to create buzz around their players or clients, so we had to go through the process and finding out what’s best for us. We didn’t want to rush it.”
It wasn't rushed and Miami came away with a successful and intriguing hire. While Alonso won the 2016 Clausura with Pachuca, it's his CCL success that set him apart from other candidates.
"MLS has made such a focus on trying to win Concacaf Champions League, I think the fact Diego has done it twice – with two different teams – is super valuable to me," McDonough told the Associated Press. "He's young, has a clear idea of how he wants to play and his desire to coach Miami in the next step of his coaching career is super valuable to us."
New Inter Miami coach Diego Alonso to AP: "The idea of winning right away is the thing that I liked the most, the thing that convinced me the most. I don't see it as a challenge. I see it as an opportunity."— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) December 30, 2019
AP story here -- https://t.co/8aWxO6SNrs
Inter are now up to 22 players, following the recent signings of Roman Torres and Juan Agudelo. Though still with a few more key players to recruit, including two vacant Designated Player slots, Miami's inaugural roster is nearing completion.
"We knew we were going to start with players before we had a coach," McDonough said. "We've always said in signing the players, they'd match with David and my vision of how we're going to play and build a club. We knew we'd find a coach that matched that, and our aspirations of trying to be successful."