Inter Miami CF 2024 Season Preview & Player Expectations

inter miami 2024

Photo: IMCF

Inter Miami’s global preseason tour is over, so we focus on the upcoming MLS regular season for the Herons. We place our attention on the players on the roster at the time of the publication of this article. At the moment, there are rumors of players coming and going, which will alter the team’s makeup before the season opener versus Real Salt Lake on February 21, 2024.

The Herons have assembled a star-studded squad with a mix of veteran stars like Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, and Luis Suarez, alongside young prospects such as Diego Gomez, Tomas Aviles, Benjamin Cremaschi, and David Ruiz. The roster is the deepest Inter Miami has had in its brief history, and expectations are high.

Player Expectations

Drake Callender– Drake is now a veteran goalkeeper with US National Team experience. He’s expected to be a rock in the goal and a more vocal team leader for the Herons. Callender must continue to rise and be a star for Miami.

DeAndre Yedlin– Yedlin did not have a great 2023 season given his pedigree and extensive international experience. DeAndre, if he is on the team come opening day must be better defensively for Miami. The backline is the Heron’s most glaring weakness and Yedlin was not great defending and lacked aggressiveness on attack.

Sergio Busquets- Busquets needs to provide the magic in the midfield for Inter Miami. Sergio’s passes are key to linking Messi and Suarez. The Spaniard maestro is the glue that holds the Heron midfield together, I expect consistent greatness from an all-time great during the long season.

Tomás Avilés- The young center-back will be given every opportunity by Tata Martino to consolidate himself as a starter for Miami. He has good technical ability and good speed but lacks physique. If Inter Miami is to improve defensively in 2024, Tomás has to develop in all aspects of his game.

Jean Mota- Before suffering a serious knee injury early in the 2023 campaign Mota was playing his best fútbol since his arrival to Miami. The Brazilian lefty should be a valuable contributor to the squad given his quality and skillset. Mota can play close to the defense in a role similar to Busquets or be a box-to-box midfielder.

Leonardo Campana- Campana has all the physical tools and technical abilities to be a star forward in MLS, unfortunately, he has had to sit behind players like Gonzalo Higuain and now Luis Suarez. This season he must have a breakout year and score at least 15 goals even if he’s coming off the bench in the majority of matches. Leonardo needs to stay healthy, as he has suffered recurring calf injuries that have hindered his progress.

Luis Suarez- The accomplished striker comes to Miami with questions about the health of his knees. If Suarez can play a good amount of matches without suffering any setbacks, Inter Miami will surely score many goals this season. The Uruguayan legend has scored goals everywhere he has been in his storied career.

Lionel Messi- Messi is the captain of the Inter Miami ship, the team will go as far as he takes them. When Lionel is on the pitch Miami is a vastly superior team. If the Herons are to be contenders for trophies in 2024, Lionel Messi has to be injury-free for the majority of the campaign.

Facundo Farias- Farias will miss the entirety of the 2024 season due to a serious knee injury suffered in preseason play. It’s a major setback for the young Argentine and Inter Miami. Facundo was expected to provide a spark to the attack and alleviate some pressure off of Lionel Messi. His roster spot will surely be filled by an incoming player.

Corentin Jean- Jean was another of the Miami players that suffered a serious injury during the 2023 season. His time in Miami has been injury-riddled, and I would be surprised if he is part of the squad in 2024. He takes up an international slot and has provided very little return on investment.

Ryan Sailor- Ryan’s role on the team while Tata Martino is the coach will be as an eternal backup. Martino seems to have little faith in Sailor. I believe Sailor is a good MLS player and could see increased minutes only if there are injuries or due to load management for the starters.

Robert Taylor- Taylor is another player who doesn’t seem to have Martino’s favor. Robert showed enormous ability during a career-best stretch of games in the Leagues Cup 2023, where he had nice chemistry on the pitch with Lionel Messi. The 2024 season could be the year when Taylor finally earns a starting role or the campaign in which the team moves him in a deal.

Ian Fray-  Ian Fray would immediately improve the Inter Miami defense if he were healthy. Fray has all the tools to be a top center-back in MLS and beyond. Unfortunately, he has had three serious knee injuries and once again is attempting a comeback.

Jordi Alba- Alba’s ability to make timely runs up the left flank is key to Miami’s attack, but his defending has to be up to par. Jordi is another great veteran player who needs to stay healthy for the Herons to have a chance to win trophies in 2024. He should have a big season for Miami.

Robbie Robinson- The enigmatic Robbie Robinson gets another chance to prove his worth in 2024. The often-injured forward has been getting by on potential the last few seasons for Miami, 2024 has to be different. He is another player who has the physical and technical tools to be a contributor to the team but is often unavailable. His first goal should be to make it healthy through the season.

Diego Gomez- Diego is a young player who has lots of experience at the professional level. He represents the Paraguayan National Team and the U-23 National Team as a starting midfielder. Gomez is an integral part of his National Team’s midfield and needs to become a major contributor for the Herons. In Miami, he has yet to match the quality he displays when representing Paraguay.

Nicolas Freire- Freire was brought in to solidify the center-back position for Miami. Ideally, Nicolas will become the unquestioned starter by adding some speed and toughness to the backline. We will see what he has to offer to Miami on this loan spell for 2024.

Julian Gressel- Gressel offers great versatility to Miami with his ability to play multiple positions on the pitch. He’ll be given a chance to play extended minutes as a starter or as a first sub off the bench. Julian needs to show his quality by providing assists and the occasional goal for the Herons.

Sergii Kryvtsov- Kryvtsov is a solid defender, but his lack of top-end speed is noticeable when he is forced to press high. Sergii has to battle to remain a starting center-back for Miami with younger faster players. His experience gives Miami a player that can be trusted in big matches.

Edison Azcona-  Azcona did not see the pitch much last season with Miami, and that is unlikely to change this season under Tata Martino. The talented midfielder will likely be loaned out once again.

CJ Dos Santos- CJ showed that he is more than capable of manning the goalkeeper position for Miami if needed. He had some solid matches during the global tour displaying good skills with his hands and his feet.

Benjamin Cremaschi- Cremaschi burst onto the scene in 2023 in a big way for Inter Miami. The teenage midfielder is currently recovering from a sports hernia surgery, but once he returns he will be another big contributor to the loaded Miami midfield. Benja’s continued development and progress will eventually lead to a move to a foreign league.

Noah Allen- Allen’s continued development was evident during the preseason global tour where he played a big role for Miami. Noah played left-back and left-center-back during the tour and did a good job. He looked more confident with the ball and more aggressive on defense. Should be a big year for the young defender.

Franco Negri- Negri was having an outstanding 2023 season for the Herons until he suffered a serious knee injury. One of the many players that went down with long-term injuries for the Herons. Upon his recovery, Negri is expected to play a starting role as a left-back with high production and good defending. A Negri, Alba combination on the left flank would be extremely tough for opposing defenses.

David Ruiz- David was another young Heron revelation during the 2023 campaign. Ruiz took advantage of his opportunity and showed a mature game beyond his years in the midfield. He can be a big-time player for Inter Miami as he continues to play alongside legends such as Messi and Busquets.

Lawson Sunderland-  Sunderland showed some flashes during Miami’s global tour. The lanky midfielder showed vision and a hunger to score goals. Lawson will continue to develop during the 2024 season probably playing some minutes off the bench and during load management for the veteran midfielders.

Santiago Morales- Another homegrown prospect on the first team, Santiago Morales, is along for the ride. The seventeen-year-old is not expected to play a major role in the 2024 season, but he can learn the game from the legends on his team.

Cole Jensen- I don’t expect Jensen to be on the opening day roster but instead on the second team. His opportunity with Miami will come, but it’s not expected to be in 2024 unless one of the top two goalies suffers an injury.

Coach Tata Martino- Martino has his hands full in 2024 coaching Inter Miami CF. The Herons are must-see T.V. in the MLS and beyond. Coaching Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, and Luis Suarez can be a little complicated for a coach. Not only must Martino manage egos but he must manage minutes for his veteran stars.

Tata’s lineup decisions and formations must be on point if Inter Miami is to meet its objectives.

2024 MLS Season Prediction

Inter Miami has the deepest most talented roster in its brief history, with reinforcements possibly on the way. A team with “Messi & The Fantastics”, plus lots of young talent has to set big goals and have high expectations. Barring any major injuries to core players, Inter Miami should contend for the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference and the MLS Cup.

The Leagues Cup, U.S. Open Cup, and CONCACAF Champions Cup are other competitions where the Herons are expected to compete for titles. I’d say it would be a successful 2024 season if Inter Miami could win the MLS Cup and the CONCACAF Champions Cup. We’ll reassess at the midpoint of the season.

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