Inter Miami’s second week of training came to a close yesterday in Port Saint Lucie. The players and coaches continued to get to know each other and were even joined by a few new faces in this week of preseason preparations.
“La Bestia” Arrives
Christian Makoun, the third signing in the Club’s history, arrived in Florida this week to join the rest of the team in training. The 19-year-old defensive-minded player was eager to get in the swing of things.
“I feel very happy,” he said. “Very happy to be with my teammates starting this project. Lots of joy, lots of good vibes and very happy to be here.”
Makoun, who worked with a personal trainer prior to joining the team to stay in shape, said he felt good in his first team sessions.
“I think it went well. Every session I’ve increased the amount of work I’m doing. Little by little I’m feeling better.”
The group, which came together just last week, is quickly bonding and Makoun is no exception. La Bestia came into training and quickly got acquainted with his new teammates and coaches and shared his first impressions.
“You see the joy. I think they are very good people; they are good both on and off the field which is very important for you first as a human being and then as a player.”
“I think it's very important because we need to get to know each other better. It's a new team where we have to make friends, where we have to stand firm as a group. All this time here together has been good for us. “
The Boss Speaks
Head Coach Diego Alonso was officially introduced in a press conference last week. Now, after being around the players for two full weeks, he is pleased with what he’s seen so far.
“I am very happy, the impression I’ve gotten of all the players is that they are very eager, and I am very happy to be able to work with the boys and form a team little by little,” he said. “Step by step we are achieving what we want to build.”
Alonso has wasted no time getting the team up and running either. The coach has immediately jumped into heavy tactical and physical work for the team, aiming to prepare the players for the season as quickly as possible.
“We want to work more tactically and prepare and adapt the players’ bodies to the physical requirements,” added Alonso. “Surely week by week we will acquire more tactical knowledge.”
Dylan Nealis, the third-overall pick in the SuperDraft, is adapting to life as a professional thanks to some help from his teammates.
“It’s definitely gotten a little more intense. There’s no weakness at this level where maybe at the college level you can expose someone. Everyone is great here, everyone’s a special player. I think one thing you have to be aware of is being strong mentally. You know you’re going to mess up at this level and it’s just how quickly you can recover from those mistakes.”
“[The MLS veterans] have been around the league for a reason. They’ve taken their experiences and put it into the group as a whole. I think they’re really solidifying this group here,” he said. “It’s unbelievable the amount of work everyone has put in.”
Still, life as a rookie comes with a unique status, one that Nealis is aware of.
“I’ll still be a rookie at heart and I think all the older guys will make sure I know I’m a rookie.”
The week was capped off with the arrival of three new players to the group.
First, on Thursday center back Nico Figal was signed from Independiente. The Argentine fit right in with the group from the start as he had some familiarity with Matías Pellegrini and Julián Carranza from their time in Argentina’s first division.
On Friday, two more new players were officially acquired by the Club. Lewis Morgan, a Scottish winger from Celtic FC, and Wil Trapp, a U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder, joined the Club and will soon link up with the rest of the team.