Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami are kicking off their MLS expansion season. After nearly eight years since David Beckham’s first press conference announcing the expansion bid, they will finally be kick a ball.
The construction of this team has not matched expectations and hype. None of their signings have broken MLS Twitter. No Edison Cavani, no Luis Suarez. Most of their roster was assembled prior to Head Coach Diego Alonso took the job at the end of December.
Rodolf Pizarro was a great late additions but their other two big attacking acquisitions are teenagers most MLS fans had never heard of. Like expansion teams before them, there’s some question marks about the team’s defensive continuity.
Tactics & Key Players
Alonso’s preferred formation at his past jobs was a 4-2-3-1. His teams generally have very active fullbacks and play quickly and on the ground. This is a nice uniqueness compared to several other Eastern Conference teams that will be pressing in a 4-3-3 or sitting deep in some variation of a 4-4-2.
Saying anything more specific about this team would be pure speculation. Alonso’s new to MLS. They’re an expansion team. Other than a few key players on the defensive side, their key players are new to MLS and each other. This team could change and tinker things throughout the season. They might be really busy in the secondary transfer window as well.
From a Fantasy standpoint, there’s a few key players at both ends and the rest are cheaper bench fill-ins. They have plenty of depth at midfield, so check their lineups for anyone other than Pizarro or Wil Trapp. Luis Robles and Nicolas Figal were good signings on the defensive end. It will take some time for this back line to gel so they might not be worth it till a few months into the season.
Pizarro is one of the top five DP signings of this off-season league wide. Similar to Albert Rusnak at Real Salt Lake and Maxi Morales at New York City FC, Pizarro is going to put up points even the team overall is doing poorly. It’ll be interesting to see who starts around him. There’s Matias Pellegrini, Julian Carranza, and Robbie Robinson is probably the best striker to come out of the SuperDraft since Cyle Larin.
All three of those players will be cheap and they’ll benefit from the service from Pizarro. Robles will probably be a cheaper option at goalkeeper and I wouldn’t be surprised if he proves himself this year having parted ways with New York Red Bulls. Figal is the centerback to watch.
Whomever wins the fullback jobs long term should be good attacking defender options, in the light on Ronald Matarrita and Steven Beitashour. My money is on Ben Sweat on the left and either Dylan Nealis or A.J. DeLaGarza on the right.
Pizarro is going to be good. There will be a few good secondary midfield and attacking options. They backline and Robles won’t get situated until the summer. Beyond that, this team is a huge question mark until we actually see them play games and change things.
I’m generally conservative when it comes to teams or players that are unknowns, so I’ll be looking elsewhere for my MLS Fantasy players.