Mexico’s national team is set to take part in two friendlies at the end of the month, and that could leave Inter Miami without top attacker Rodolfo Pizarro for a period of time.
Mexico has exhibition games vs. Costa Rica and the Netherlands scheduled for Sept. 30 and Oct. 7 in Mexico City and Amsterdam, respectively, and it is unclear as of now if Pizarro will be called up for either of them.
If he is, the midfielder could wind up missing matches as Inter Miami pushes to move into a playoff spot. MLS has yet to announce what the regular season schedule will look like after this weekend, but the expectation is that games will resume.
“We’ve had some informal conversations with the national team,” said Inter Miami head coach Alonso in Spanish on Tuesday. “We have to get all the true information to assess what we’re going to do: If it’s mandatory or not mandatory. Does he have to quarantine upon returning if he leaves?
“There’s a lot of things that we have to assess and obviously we will look for the club’s interests in this case given that we are in a demanding situation and have a lot of games in a short amount of time.”
Alonso touches on Nguyen trade
Lee Nguyen’s stint with Inter Miami may have ultimately been shorter than was expected, but the decision to trade him to the New England Revolution on Tuesday came down to two things.
“It was a simple decision and a strategic one from the club,” said Alonso. “The player through his agent had also inquired about the possibilities to leave. Obviously given that he had few possibilities to play here, we made the decision.””
As Inter Miami sporting director Paul McDonough had noted in the team’s press release, the expansion club also shipped out Nguyen to acquire “salary flexibility” over the next two seasons. What’s more Inter Miami is not necessarily done rounding out its inaugural roster just yet, meaning another player or two could soon be added.
“There will not be many more moves this year,” said Alonso. “We’ll surely touch up some spots next year that will suit the roster characteristics that I’ll look for, but in general terms I’m very happy. I feel that if we adjust the right points then we can have a roster that can compete very well this year and that can improve and be a protagonist in the campaign next year.”
Replicating Start vs. Nashville SC
Inter Miami’s next match will take place on Wednesday night at home against Atlanta United, and the South Florida side is looking to replicate how it played in the first 20 minutes of this past Sunday’s scoreless draw with Nashville SC.
Inter Miami came out flying in that game, creating three quality scoring chances and suffocating the fellow expansion outfit with a high press during the opening 20 minutes.
“That’s definitely how the coaching staff wants us to start,” said left back Ben Sweat. “Be the aggressors. First 5-10 minutes press the heck out of them, and put them on their toes. I’m sure you’ll see a lot of that tomorrow night as well.”
Inter Miami knows it needs to be more clinical in this upcoming affair in order to pick up three sorely-needed points. The team failed to finish a number of good looks, and is aware that it cannot repeat that vs. Atlanta United.
“We haven’t scored a goal in the last (three) games,” said attacker Juan Agudelo. “Everyone is going to see that and say that’s the reason we aren’t collecting more points, and it is true. If we fix that up front, the team will move ahead.”