Academy Players

Academy Coach Pedro Cavalcanti: “The amount of talent in South Florida is unique”

Pedro Cavalcanti, head coach for the Inter Miami CF Academy 2007 age group, joined OnSide last week to provide updates on the Academy and share his experiences as a coach. He touched on the Academy’s time away from action, his roots, and a number of other personal and Club related topics.

Cavalcanti, who has Miami roots and has coached across three different continents, holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami and a FIFA Master with CIES (International Master in Management, Law and Humanities in Sport). He has also held several soccer operations roles on the business side of the sport, including team liaison officer for Colombia’s National Team both for the 2014 FIFA Organizing Committee Brazil and the Copa America Centenario tournament in 2016.

“More than anything it was truly believing in what Inter Miami can do and coming back home and being part of something huge,” said Cavalcanti on why he returned to Miami. “I’m Brazilian, grew up in Argentina, and then moved to Miami, like many Latin Americans, when I was 12. I did middle school here, high school here, graduated from the University of Miami, and then went out to the world to go in sight of my dream of becoming a professional coach. That landed me in Rome (with AS Roma), and I was there for three years. It was an unbelievable experience. A lot of growth.”

“When Inter Miami became official and MLS was coming to Miami and I had the opportunity to be part of it from the first moment, there was no doubt for me that I wanted to be part of it and help it grow to what I know it will be.”

Since he joined the Club, the Brazilian has focused his efforts on building something substantial and sustainable with the Academy. He, along with the rest of the Inter Miami Academy coaches, aim to foster the growth of South Florida’s youth soccer culture.

“The entire staff has experience from all over and we work together with this objective of developing players to make it to the First Team,” said Cavalcanti. “We have our principles of play that we follow. We work together, everybody’s helping each other out. “We’re all working together with this idea of instilling a culture that South Florida players can develop to be professional players at the higher level, especially at Inter Miami,” he added. “With all the experience of the staff, the idea was to bring everybody together and really instill the culture of what you need to do to become a professional player at the higher level. Hopefully we’ll have a lot of Academy players representing Inter Miami in the near future.”

Cavalcanti also touched on the differences among the soccer cultures he has experienced in his time coaching across the world. He expressed his goal of instilling the best parts of other cultures in the Inter Miami Academy.

“In Europe, it’s all more soccer-centric. You have all the kids that are born into a soccer family and grew up around soccer and all they see and all they breathe is soccer. Soccer is a bigger part in the day to day outside of the field. We’re trying to instill that culture here by creating a sense of belonging with Inter Miami. A lot of the work that we’ve done throughout [the pandemic] is having our players get to know our First Team players [through film]. We only had two games to work from, but that was more than enough to get the players excited about what they are striving towards.”

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“Once you bring that sense that soccer is a lot more out of the field than it is in those two hours of practice, then it becomes a part of their lives and it affects the way that they spend their free time, the way that they take care of their bodies, the type of discussions they have at the dinner table with their families. All of that is brought back onto the field with a lot more dedication, a lot more passion, and a lot more sacrifice.”

Lastly, Cavalcanti provided updates on his expectation as the Academy enters a new competitive structure, transitioning from the U.S. Soccer Development Academy to the new MLS player development platform.

“The objective here, which is what makes us excited, is that we perceive that the level of competition is going to improve. And if the quality of competition improves, then development improves,” he said. “We really foresee developing better and better players across the United States, and especially at Inter Miami.”

“The amount of talent in South Florida is unique and it’s very very special.”