An MLS Team Fielded by a Soccer Legend
Founded January 29, 2018, Inter Miami CF is a relatively new professional soccer club based in Miami, Florida, and created as part of the Major League Soccer (MLS) current growth phase, which has been ongoing since 2015. MLS announced its intention to expand and sought interest from potential ownership groups; one of these groups was led by David Beckham, the former English soccer superstar, who expressed a desire to bring a team to Miami to fulfill a long-standing ambition.
After a few years of negotiations, legal hurdles, and site selection for a stadium (the not-yet-built Miami Freedom Park), Beckham's ownership group was finally granted the franchise rights to a Miami team in early 2018. The club was officially named Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami (Inter Miami CF for short), with an intent to represent not just the city of Miami, but also the multicultural and diverse community that makes up the region.
How Inter Miami Is Writing a New Story
On September 5, 2018, the team’s colors (black, pink, and white) were unveiled along with its crest. The latter’s design features two great white herons, symbolizing freedom and resilience, and forming an "M" shape for Miami; the background also has seven rays, as a tribute to David Beckham’s Manchester United and England national team shirt number. With David Beckham as the face of the franchise, Inter Miami quickly generated immense buzz and anticipation both within the city and the global soccer community.
In 2020, the Inter Miami schedule kicked off, as the team made its much-anticipated début in MLS and became the league's 25th team. Under the guidance of head coach Diego Alonso, the team started its inaugural season with a blend of experienced players and promising talents. Inter’s first-ever match was on March 1, 2020, against Los Angeles FC (LAFC), losing 1-0. It wasn’t until Inter’s second game, on March 7 against D.C. United, that someone on the Miami team scored a goal: Colombian-American player Juan Agudelo scored Inter Miami’s first goal at D.C.’s Audi Field, although the team still lost 2-1.
On August 22 of the same year, French midfield maestro Blaise Matuidi debuted on the team, facing Nashville SC at DRV PNK Stadium; Miami won an impressive 3-0. The following month, on September 27, world-class Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuaín played for Inter for the first time against Philadelphia Union at the Subaru Park in Chester, Pennsylvania; unfortunately, Philadelphia won 3-0.
It was a rocky first season, as the team was finding its groove and games had to be halted for months when the world went into quarantine over COVID-19. Inter Miami ultimately finished the regular season in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, narrowly missing out on the playoffs. It’d be a couple of years until the team found its route, as it welcomed one of the greatest players the world has ever seen.
A Superstar Enters the Building
It was the historic signing of Lionel Messi in 2023 that truly transformed the club's trajectory, and arguably the future of the MLS and even the landscape of American sports. After spending most of his career at Barcelona and then moving on to Paris St. Germain between 2021 and 2023, Messi decided to embark on a new chapter and bring his talents to the MLS. The news sent shockwaves throughout the soccer world and set the stage for one of the most significant transfers in the history of the sport.
Lionel Messi's arrival in Miami was met with a hero's welcome, as thousands of fans flocked to see the superstar in action. The presence of one of the greatest soccer players of all time elevated Inter Miami's profile to unprecedented heights, and the team quickly became a major attraction on the global stage, as Floridians and soccer fans across America looked for Messi tickets. Two of Messi’s former Barça teammates were quickly announced as new additions to Inter Miami: Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba — in all, a triumvirate that will surely remind longtime Barcelona fans of a mythical time in the iconic La Liga team!
Messi’s first official game in Inter Miami was on July 22, 2023, playing against Mexico City’s Cruz Azul in the Leagues Cup. He came in as a second-half substitute and gave the Miami team a victory, scoring a tie-breaking goal that left the score 2-1.
Another Superstar Joins Messi in Miami
Sources have confirmed that Inter Miami has agreed to a deal with Gremio for the transfer of Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan striker has been linked with a move away from Brazilian Serie A and it appears that he will be joining the MLS club in the United States.
Suarez, who played with Lionel Messi at Barcelona, will now be reunited with the Argentine superstar at Inter Miami. The two players formed a formidable partnership during their time together at the Spanish club, winning numerous titles and breaking records along the way.
The move to Inter Miami is expected to be a major coup for the club, co-owned by former Manchester United and Real Madrid star David Beckham. Suarez is regarded as one of the best strikers in the world scoring over 450 goals and winning over 20 trophies at the club level.
While the move has not yet been officially confirmed, Suarez is expected to join Inter Miami in time for the start of the next MLS season. With Messi and Suarez leading the line, the club will be hoping to make a major impact in the league.
Overall, the transfer of Suarez to Inter Miami is a significant move for both the player and the club, and it will be interesting to see how he adapts to the MLS and the challenges of playing in a new league. With his proven track record and impressive form, however, there is no doubt that Suarez will be a major asset to his new team and a major draw for fans of the sport in the United States.
Don’t Miss Lionel Messi in MLS!
Who wouldn’t want to see the great Leo Messi do his magic, whether in the Sunshine State’s DRV PNK Stadium or elsewhere? Get your tickets now for Inter Miami’s next game and experience Messi’s first-ever season playing in Major League Soccer.
Inter Miami’s Next Games
As an MLS team, Inter Miami CF competes for these championships and trophies:
- Leagues Cup. The Leagues Cup is a joint venture between MLS and Liga MX, aiming to create an interleague competition between the top teams from both leagues. Inter Miami is now in the Leagues Cup final against Nashville.
- U.S. Open Cup. The U.S. Open Cup is the oldest ongoing soccer competition in the United States. It is a knockout tournament open to all professional and amateur soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer, and will soon have Miami facing FC Cincinnati.
You can also get tickets for Inter Miami’s Carolina Challenge Cup match against Charlotte FC and its MLS New York Red Bulls game!
Inter Miami CF Facts
- The 25th MLS team.
- True to Miami’s large Hispanic population, the team’s full official name is actually in Spanish: Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami.
- Inter Miami’s inaugural season was cut short after only two games — its inaugural match was on March 1, 2020, just as the COVID-19 pandemic began to unfold. The season didn’t resume until July of that year.
- The team’s home stadium, the Miami Freedom Park, hasn’t been built yet. DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, built on the site of the former Lockhart Stadium, is currently serving as its interim home stadium.