Inter Miami CF's MLS journey is officially underway, as the 2020 expansion club took the field for its first-ever training session at Barry University on Monday.
Longtime Miami Herald sports writer Michelle Kaufman was on the scene covering the debut practice, relaying a couple of notable details regarding the state of the club and how sporting director Paul McDonough plans on tackling the rest of the lead-up to its first MLS match, which will come on the road against Supporters' Shield-winning LAFC on Sun., March 1 (5:30 pm ET on ESPN).
According to Kaufman, there were 22 players to open camp including Argentine center back Nico Figal, whom McDonough said the club is "very close" to signing. And he expects six more players to be signed in the coming weeks.
Nico Figal, Argentine player from Independiente, is practicing with Inter Miami. Sporting Director Paul McDonough said they are very close to signing him. Apparently, it already happened. @MiamiHerald @HeraldSports @InterMiamiCF @MLS— Michelle Kaufman (@kaufsports) January 20, 2020
What's clear is that the club isn't about to wait until the summer transfer window to fill the club's remaining two Designated Player slots alongside Matias Pellegrini.
"I don't think it makes sense to leave a designated spot for summer," McDonough told The Miami Herald. "They'd play a full season until May, then tournaments like the Euros and Copa again, now you're looking at getting them for 10 games, and I don't think that's what's best for the club."
Miami have been linked to several prominent names throughout the offseason: Pedro, Edinson Cavani, Agustin Almendra, Dorlan Pabon, Exequiel Palacios and Roger Martinez. But McDonough is not necessarily after the big name, citing Atlanta United star and current Newcastle man Miguel Almiron as an example of the type of high-upside young player he might also be inclined to target.
Check out Kaufman's full report for McDonough's comments on this and other topics.