Inter Miami CF is focused on cultivating an environment that can help our Academy presented by Baptist Health reach its full potential. By design, a winning culture is much more than just the players on the pitch and coaches and their assistants. At Inter Miami, every member of the Club’s staff plays an important role.
For staff and fans alike, the incredible fields are some of our biggest points of pride. When players step onto the pitch for practice in the afternoon, some may be unaware that since 7 a.m. that morning, the groundskeeping staff has been taking care of the pitch. Matt Bruderek, Director of Turf and Ground at Inter Miami CF, and his staff prepare for training sessions with the careful science of field maintenance; they mow the fields, paint, apply fertilizer, check the sprinklers, water the fields, and carry out divot repairs at precise times of day for optimal results, and continue the routine throughout the week.
Bruderek personally pre-plans and coordinates all of these maintenance orders. He also works closely with the coaches to make sure expectations are met for the playing surfaces.
“How the field performs is important to the style that the team wants to play,” said Bruderek. “It can affect how players’ legs feel after games if it’s too hard or too soft.”
Essentially, groundskeeping also goes hand-in-hand with player safety and speed of play. The final component is aesthetics. Aesthetically, the way the field looks on television or to the supporters in the stands can affect the brand of the Club.
Medical Staff and Performance Coaches
Once the players arrive, they are greeted by both our medical staff and performance coaches. Together, they help ensure the well-being of the players so they can be on top of their game. Academy Athletic Trainer Jenn Asuaje arrives at noon to fill out medical reports and plan the rehab sessions for that day. She then begins her treatments at 3 p.m. just before their 5 p.m. practice. Her favorite part of the job: seeing players develop firsthand.
“Unfortunately, it is extremely rare for an athlete to be healthy throughout their whole career,” says Asuaje, “Our goal is for them to have the tools to be healthy and also treat those who do get injured.”
Observing the players and how they react in game situations during practice is no easy task. This is where Carlos Cataño comes in. As a performance coach, his role at Inter Miami is to enhance performance for our athletes by combining physiology, kinesiology and psychology in their training. Cataño does this by updating our head coaches on athletes’ workload from the previous training. By reporting what he sees, Cataño allows coaching staffs to adjust future training sessions so they can become even more effective. He also uses GPS tracking systems to analyze the players with a modern approach. Carlos believes that performance coaches are the first voice that engages with our athletes, and he takes that role very seriously.
“My favorite part of my job is having the opportunity to work with elite athletes. I feel that I become not only a coach, but a mentor, a teacher, and a role model that can be reflected on and off the field,” said Cataño.
Another key person in all of this is Evan Sokol. As an Administrator for both Fort Lauderdale CF and the Inter Miami CF Academy, Sokol is a jack of all trades. When he’s not going over logistics and schedules, he’s helping the equipment managers get ready for the day ahead.
In the era of COVID-19, once he’s done with virtual meetings about future games and sorting processes within the league, he’s helping carry out COVID protocol by scanning players as they enter. By making sure everything works like a well-oiled machine, he believes every aspect of day-to-day operations can benefit. He’ll also be the first to tell you that our club’s chemistry is like no other.
“Since arriving from Connecticut about a year ago, I quickly felt the La Familia bond within the Club. Everyone has your back and wants you to succeed,” said Sokol. “I can truly say that I love coming to work because of the people I work with.”
With a strong staff working 24/7 to create the best possible Inter Miami, and a group of executives that encourages creativity, there’s no doubt that great things are in store for the Inter Miami CF Academy presented by Baptist Health.
• The Inter Miami CF Academy teams will travel to face Atlanta United FC at Patton Park in Northern Florida for a neutral site matchup. The occasion will mark the first opportunity for Inter Miami academy teams to face MLS opposition in the 2021 spring season.
Players of the Month:
• With February in the books, the Inter Miami CF Academy has named its Players of the Month.
• Of the younger group, Justin Ellis was named Player of the Month for his stellar efforts as a forward for the U-14 team. As for the older Academy players, U-15 center back Tyler Hall was the standout, earning Player of the Month honors.
You can follow our academy’s journey online by following our Twitter account @InterMiamiAcad or via Instagram @InterMiamiCF_Academy.