Paul McDonough - Inter Miami - Presser
Courtesy of Inter Miami CF

Paul McDonough stepping down as Inter Miami CF sporting director

Paul McDonough is stepping down as Inter Miami CF's chief operating officer and sporting director, the club announced Wednesday.

The news was first reported by Paul Tenorio of The Athletic and later confirmed by Inter Miami in a club release.

“On behalf of Inter Miami’s ownership group, staff and fans I would like to thank Paul for his invaluable contribution to the expansion of Inter Miami CF over the past two and a half years. Under his leadership, Inter Miami has established a solid base to build upon, from the club's infrastructure to its elite facilities,” Inter Miami managing owner Jorge Mas said in Wednesday's release. “As the club's first hire, Paul will always be a part of Inter Miami. I am grateful to him for the passion and dedication he brought to the organization.” 

It marks the departure of one of the key architects of Inter Miami's entry into MLS, which saw McDonough craft the club's roster and handle many of the additional business responsibilities. 

McDonough joined the club in 2018 and worked to establish their youth academy, USL League One affiliate and first-team roster and also managed the construction of the team’s training facility and Inter Miami CF Stadium.

Prior to joining Miami, McDonough worked in the front office for Orlando City SC and Atlanta United

“Working alongside the Mas brothers to build upon the legacy of soccer in South Florida will be one of the highlights of my career,” said McDonough. “I am proud of what we have accomplished and look forward to the next chapter.”

Inter Miami came into its expansion season with self-stated high expectations, but struggled to translate that to the field in 2020, starting 0-5-0 before improving down the stretch and snagging the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a 7-13-3 record and 24 points from 23 matches. 

Still, there was reason for optimism about an improved 2021, with a core built around standout Mexico international Rodolfo Pizarro and a prolific striker in Gonzalo Higuain, who was brought in at the back half of the season, as well as another offseason to bolster a roster that was challenging to build amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Time will tell how this move shapes out, but either way, it's going to be a fascinating offseason for Mas, David Beckham and the rest of the club brass.