Some very big news for the Inter Miami organization today.
And, as customary in your dose of The Daily Heron, some news that isn’t so big… but so it goes.
Let’s get into it with today’s edition of The Daily Heron.
Turning Shovels for Inter Miami
Perhaps the biggest club news today didn’t come from the pitch.
Inter Miami has broken ground on Miami Freedom Park — the future home of Inter Miami, near Miami International Airport.
According to the club, Miami Freedom Park is a 58-acre public park and entertainment district that also includes the future home for Inter Miami.
Of course, the new home will be a 25,000-seat stadium that anchors the entire development.
So, after numerous government issues, planning and talk, we are just a little more than a year away from christening a new futbol-specific stadium and multi-use complex.
The club added that crews and equipment are on site of the former Melreese Country Club and are starting to do work on construction.
The stadium part of the project is expected to be completed by 2025 and additional hotel, retail and other commercial spaces will continue to be developed through 2030.
Martino Expects Messi to Start for Inter Miami Against Nashville
In his Tuesday news conference, Inter Miami manager Tata Martino did everything but actually confirm that Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets will start Wednesday as the Herons host Nashville SC in a rematch of their Leagues Cup final clash.
If true, it would mark the first Major League Soccer contest Messi and Busquets will start — both came off the bench in Inter Miami’s win over the weekend.
Make sure to come back to Inter Heron for a preview of Wednesday’s home league match.
Inter Miami’s Jordi Alba May Step Away From International Duty
While it’s not confirmed, reports suggest Inter Miami defender Jordi Alba may soon retire from international duty with the Spanish National Team.
Over the course of his international career, Alba has claimed the European Championship in 2012 and the UEFA Nations League title this year.
He’s been capped 93 times for Spain, scoring 10 goals over that span.
I mean, it kind of makes sense for the 34-year-old Alba to step away from international play and focus solely on his Inter Miami endeavors.
Twelve years is a long international career and the demand of international play has only gotten harder between European Championship qualifiers, friendlies and more.
Plus, the turmoil within Spain’s governing body for soccer is enough to drive anyone away.
Can’t say as we blame him, if the story is true.
ICYMI: Arturo Vidal Says He’d Play For Inter Miami
In an interview with an Argentine media outlet, former Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal said he would "love to play with Messi" at Inter Miami.
It was surprising at first, but when you think about it, anyone who has played for Barcelona since 2015 has been connected to Inter Miami since the Herons signed Messi.
But, taken into context, Vidal may have just said what everyone expected him to say. I mean, what player wouldn’t say they would love to play with Messi?
It doesn’t actually mean it’s going to happen, or that Vidal would actually make the switch. Especially considering he just transferred from Flamengo to Athletico Paranaense this summer.
Inter Miami Moves Up In Power Rankings
Now, before I get into this, keep in mind that Inter Miami is second-to-last in the Eastern Conference.
So, it makes total sense they would be ranked the fourth-highest team in the latest MLS Power Rankings, right?
Granted, Inter Miami did just dispatch of New York Red Bulls at the weekend, following an unblemished run to the 2023 Leagues Cup title and a run to the U.S. Open Cup finals.
The Herons were ranked just below FC Cincinnati, Philadelphia Union and Columbus Crew — they’ve actually beaten two of those three in the last few weeks.
It was a three-spot jump for Inter Miami, who were ranked No. 7 last week. They were just ahead of defending champions Los Angeles FC, Orlando City and St. Louis City SC.