After a year-long search, Inter Miami finally announced Diego Alonso as the team’s inaugural manager. Although he wasn’t the first choice, he proves to be the right one.
On Wednesday, January 22nd, Inter Miami held a press conference to formally introduce their new manager, Diego Alonso, to the public. The club’s managerial search has been highly publicized for quite a while, so when Alonso was ultimately announced, there was a sense of relief among fans, journalists and commentators alike.
It’s safe to say that the 44-year-old wasn’t at the top of the list when the club began their managerial search, either. Compared to the ‘flashier’ name like Patrick Viera or Marcelo Gallardo, Alonso’s announcement was a little safer.
However, contrary to the narrative, in an interview with the Miami Herald, Inter Miami General Manager Paul McDonough had other ideas about the Uruguyuan:
"“He’s competed against MLS teams in the CONCACAF Champions League, and I paid close attention when his team was beating Atlanta United. All the MLS teams aspire to win that, and we just signed a guy who has won it twice with two different clubs.”"
Alonso brings a wealth of experience dealing with the CONCACAF region that will be imperative in creating a winning culture that the club seeks to establish. In an interview with The Athletic’s Felipe Cardenas, Alonso extensively discussed a number of topics, including tactics, what he thinks about MLS, and how he’s going about forging a winner mentality in the locker room. It was his comment on the latter that was most ear-pricking:
"“I think winning has to be our most important objective. When (the team) believes that, they’ll feel like they’re part of the idea. It’s easier to defend the group’s idea than that of an individual.”"
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Establishing a culture is something that the City of Miami is no stranger to. The Miami Heat have long had this mantra of ‘Heat Culture,’ which encompasses everything from dogged determination to playing hard until the final whistle blows. It appears that Inter Miami wants to take a page out of their basketball counterpart’s playbook and implement something similar.
This style, culture, philosophy could be another reason why the expansion side is now being linked with 28-year-old Argentinian striker Rogelio Funes Mori. According to TUDN Reporter Ivan Kasanzew, the Monterrey center-forward could move away from the reigning CONCACAF Champions League winners.
With Funes Mori, Inter Miami could possibly be getting a veteran player who not only knows the region but has the experience working with and playing in Alonso’s systems. Alonso’s culture is already embedded well within Funes Mori’s make-up. The striker would provide both the quality and goal-getting ability on the pitch and a leadership skill off it. It makes him immensely valuable to Alonso and Inter Miami.
If Alonso succeeds in implementing the winning culture that he strives for and McDonough gets a player like Funes Mori on the roster, perhaps the transition from expansion side to fully-fledged MLS club won’t be too difficult for the expansion side. They are laying the groundwork for their future, and in doing so, Alonso might just be proving that he was the right man for the job after all.