DORAL, FL – After a three-month pause due to the coronavirus and many matches cancelled, Inter Miami is back. The team will open the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando on July 8 playing opposite Orlando City in a World Cup-style event.
It will be a nationally televised 8 p.m. match without fans in attendance and the only one of that day at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex where the tournament will take place from July 8 to August 11.
Of course, measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will be taken. Inter Miami players have been testing for the coronavirus every other day since last Friday.
All teams and league personnel will be sequestered at the Swan and Dolphin resort at Lake Buena Vista. All members of the Major League Soccer will be tested regularly for the coronavirus.
In addition, teams will travel on their own buses, meals will be regulated and on-site, and leisure activities such as golf and swimming will be on Disney property. No visitors will be allowed, including family members, as reported by the Miami Herald.
Six groups will compete in the tournament and the rest of the teams in Miami’s group are New York City FC, Philadelphia Union, Chicago Fire and fellow expansion club Nashville SC. Nevertheless, Miami will play Orlando, Philadelphia and Chicago in the stage group.
The three group-stage matches will count in the MLS regular-season standings, and the tournament winner will earn a spot in the 2021 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League.
“The team’s mentality is to go compete. Every player on this roster is motivated to help Inter Miami make history and win this tournament,” defender Nico Figal said to the Herald. “To the fans, I say have hope. We will leave it all on the field. We have big dreams like they do.”
“It’s been a long day coming. It’s so exciting to be back. The club has been great, very careful to follow all the protocols. It’s great being back doing what we love to do. We’re a squad of competitive guys and with the tournament coming up we want to be successful, ” said Inter Miami winger Lewis Morgan.
Paul McDonough, Inter Miami COO and Sporting Director, said to the Miami Herald he expects the three games to be tough. “Philly we saw in preseason. They’re very good…They’ve got a really good system. They’re tough. Chicago is rebuilding so we ‘re not really sure what’s going to happen there. But we just have to focus on ourselves.”
Fans who bought season tickets or single-game tickets for Inter Miami games for the 2020 season will be contacted by the team in the following days to discuss their options.