The Daily Heron: Inter Miami quietly adds another Messi, learning to win without Leo

We tirelessly troll the Internet looking for interesting Inter Miami news, features or gossip…so, we’re a lot like you! But we try to bring it all together — or a lot of it together — in this little basket we call The Daily Heron. Let’s get started:
Jordi Alba, left, congratulates Lionel Messi after Inter Miami beat New York Red Bulls 2-0 Saturday. It was the MLS debut for the close friends.
Jordi Alba, left, congratulates Lionel Messi after Inter Miami beat New York Red Bulls 2-0 Saturday. It was the MLS debut for the close friends. / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Messi’s son Thiago, 10, joins Inter Miami Academy

Inter Miami has released its academy team rosters as the fall season approaches; a name on the under-12 sheet is familiar worldwide: Messi.

Thiago Messi, 10, the oldest of superstar Lionel Messi’s three sons, will join his dad in wearing the Herons’ pink and black kits.

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi poses with his sons, from left, Thiago, Matteo, and Ciro, before a PSG match. Thiago has joined the Inter Miami Academy’s 12U team. / Tim Clayton - Corbis/GettyImages

The IMCF Academy has experience training the sons of celebrated players; co-owner David Beckham's son, Romeo Beckham, and Harvey Neville, the son of Beckham's friend and former Manchester United teammate and former Inter Miami head coach Phil Neville, are academy alumni.

Romeo Beckham, 20, currently is with the Brentford FC reserves while Harvey Neville, 21, signed to a first-team contract by Inter Miami, is on loan at the USL's Loudoun United.

Club Internacional de Futbol Miami has quietly developed one of Major League Soccer’s best academies; since it’s creation in 2019, the Inter Miami Academy has produced six players signed to professional contracts, five of whom have featured for the senior team.

That success has been largely overshadowed by the Herons’ audacious courtship of Lionel Messi, a courtship consummated in July when the greatest player of this generation signed a 2 1/2-year contract to join La Rosanegra.

Since Messi and former Barcelona coach and teammates Gerardo Martino, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba joined Inter Miami, the combination of elite veterans, serviceable role-players and promising young talent has provided the most exciting, most successful run of play in the club’s four-year history.

The Herons are undefeated in nine matches, have lifted the club’s first major hardware (the Leagues Cup) and qualified for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title match (Sept. 27). Saturday’s win at NY Red Bulls was the first step on an unlikely quest to move from last place in the Eastern Conference into a playoff spot in 12 matches.

To my great satisfaction — and relief — the newcomers have proven to be ideal mentors and role models for the Kids in Pink: Inter Miami Academy grads Noah Allen, 19; Edison Azcona, 19; Benjamin Cremaschi, 18; Ian Fray, 20; and David Ruiz, 19; and los Ninos Sudamericanos, brought in this summer’s transfer window to add depth to the Herons’ roster: Tomas Aviles, 19; Facundo Farias, 20; and Diego Gomez, 20.