The plan for Inter Miami seems to be to enter Major League Soccer with a bang next year.
The club has made plenty of headlines despite having never fielded a team, thanks in part to an ownership group that includes former Manchester United and Real Madrid superstar David Beckham and in part to a contentious battle to make plans for a team in Miami a reality.
MLS faced a number of challenges in bringing a team to Miami, most notably a battle over where the club would play. But with those issues seemingly in the rearview mirror, the job of building a team is now at hand, and the club has some big ambitions for year one.
“We will have three designated players in our first year," sporting director Paul McDonough told MLSsoccer.com. “It’s an ongoing process, we’re talking with guys. We’ve had some meetings. Trying to figure out if we’re right for them and [if] they’re right for us. It’s all progressing well."
Links to world superstars have been constant, with names like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba having all been mentioned as potential signings for the club.
Those names may be laughable, but with an ownership group that is willing to spend, Beckham adding name value and Miami as a home base, the club wasn't shocked to see such highly regarded players being tabbed to join up.
"It’s not surprising for us, we know with the ownership group we have – the ambition – the city we live in, it’s going to be desirable for players to come," McDonough said.
“It’s more about trying to take the time to field all the calls to find out if they’re true or not."
Miami has yet to sign a coach or a player despite having less than a year to put together a full roster.
But the club has a vision, and McDonough says Miami will work to bring in players that fit the vision before making the call on who will be the club's first coach.
“We’re going to try and start building the team in the club’s vision, then we’ll try and pick a coach that fits the vision," McDonough said of the building process. "David [Beckham] and I have talked about what we want the club to be like, how we want to play. Hopefully we’ll find players and a coach that match our philosophy.”
McDonough also hinted that a big signing could be announced in the near future, though exactly who the club will be targeting remains a mystery.
“We’ll definitely have players signed by the summer," he said.
"I want to make it a surprise.”