Inter Miami's second season is shaping up to look quite different than its first.
With sporting director Paul McDonough already having stepped down and captain and starting goalkeeper Luis Robles having retired, Miami parted ways with manager Diego Alonso on Thursday, creating another vacancy on the sporting side for a club that made the MLS playoffs in its inaugural season but left plenty to be desired overall. Miami went 7-13-3 with a -10 goal differential in the regular season (10th in the Eastern Conference) and was dumped out in the play-in round of the expanded playoffs by fellow expansion club Nashville SC, falling 3-0. It also lost all three of its games in the MLS Is Back tournament.
“This was a difficult year and a very tough decision for everyone, but we believe it is the right step for the club. We have great expectations for Inter Miami in the short and long term,” owner Jorge Mas said in a statement.
The tune was quite different upon his hiring just over a year ago, which came at the end of an exhaustive coaching search and had McDonough boasting that, "in Diego we found a manager that fits our culture and has a strong desire to build a winning club for our fans. He brings a lot of experience and championship-winning mentality as we begin our drive to be among the best clubs in the Americas. We have big aspirations for our club and believe Diego has the right drive, passion and leadership to accomplish our goals.”
That never panned out, and now reports from the UK suggest that the club is in talks with Phil Neville–Miami part-owner David Beckham's former Manchester United teammate and outgoing coach of England's women's national team–to take charge.
Whoever steps in will have a tall task to achieve the club's lofty goals, though will benefit from a full season of forward Gonzalo Higuain, who joined from Juventus in September.
Miami joins D.C. United and Toronto FC as MLS clubs with coaching vacancies. The LA Galaxy (Greg Vanney) and Atlanta United (Gabriel Heinze) have filled theirs after parting ways with Guillermo Barros Schelotto and Frank de Boer, respectively.