McDonough and Alonso Provide Updates Ahead of MLS Is Back Tournament
With just two days until Inter Miami's return to action in the MLS is Back Tournament opener, COO & Sporting Director Paul McDonough and Head Coach Diego Alonso provided updates on the team, their stay in Orlando to this point and their expectations for what is ahead.
The importance of the tournament is paramount in the minds of Inter Miami's leaders as they look towards the implications of each match.
"The tournament is important to the maximum. Every match we have to play, we know it has a high value because every time we play, we are making history," said Alonso. "In the next match we're looking for our first win and we will try, in each of the three games we have in the series that will add to the regular season, to add the maximum number of points that allow us to come out from the Orlando tournament with better chances of qualifying to the playoffs."
"We are very excited, happy with the possibility to play again, to do what we like, to be on a field of play, first through training and now in these next days, playing and debuting in the tournament. That gives us happiness."
Alonso also shared his excitement at the prospect of one young forward having the chance to make his debut for the Club. JuliÃ¡n Carranza, the 20-year-old Argentine forward, has recovered from the injury that kept him out of the Club's first two matches and will be available for selection.
"We believe that he is someone who is young but who will be able to give us a lot, he will give us minutes, he will be able to give us games, he will be able to give us characteristics that we like and we are sure that he will give a lot to the team," said Alonso.
McDonough and Alonso also emphasized the importance of the safety measures in place and the comfort of the players in the bubble.
"I've spoken to a lot of the guys and they're really good, they're happy. I think the player lounges have been a hit, with the card games, the ping pong and video games. We've got different lounges, and our team is spending a lot of time together on our floor and they have their meals together. Overall, the guys are good," said McDonough. "We're a brand-new team and we haven't really had enough time outside of preseason to bond, so the guys really think that this is a good opportunity to spend time with each other. We're just focusing on us."
"We feel very safe inside the resort," added Alonso. "We took great care before our arrival and we continue to do so while we're here, but we've felt very well cared for and protected. The organization we have is extraordinary and we feel happy."
Lastly, McDonough and Alonso provided updates on rookie forward Robbie Robinson.
"Robbie is not in the bubble any longer," said McDonough. "He did not test positive. Something came up, we discussed it, and for personal reasons Robbie decided to leave. Once you leave you can't come back in, but it made more sense for him to leave and sort it out."
Robinson is expected to rejoin the team following the completion of the MLS is Back Tournament.
"It's certainly a major loss, he's a player who competed in the first two games, but we understand his reasons and we have to look to function without him," added Alonso. "We have other players who can also do great, so we are calm and supportive of the players who are going to play."
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