Miami (AFP) - Inter Miami owner Jorge Mas believes David Beckham's new MLS franchise will challenge for honors in their first season after Diego Alonso, the club's newly appointed head coach, was unveiled Wednesday.
Alonso, a striker who helped lead Valencia to the 2001 Champions League final during his playing days, arrives in South Florida from Mexican side Monterrey where he won three titles including the CONCACAF Champions League crown in 2019.
Inter Miami are currently building their squad - and their stadium in Fort Lauderdale - and despite their first League match fast approaching on March 1 against Los Angeles FC, still have to fill two designated player spots and make the kind of box office signing co-owner Beckham would love to have in place.
Mas, however, was bullish at Alonso's unveiling and is confident the fledgling club can make waves immediately.
"Today is a historic day for our team and organization. This started with David's dream in 2007 of establishing a franchise which reflect his values as a player," he said.
"It has been a long journey but our team is a reflection of the passion of Miami.
"I consider Diego to be one of the elite coaches in the world, he is a leader. We all share a vision to make Inter Miami the global team of MLS.
"We have several goals and they have already begun. We have to establish a culture but want to compete and be playing games in October and November, being involved in the play-offs and race for the Supporters Shield by doing well in the Eastern Conference.
"Pressure is good, and if you don't feel that, you won't win. I place pressure on myself every day. It's how you bounce back and get better."
Manchester City duo Sergio Aguero and David Silva have both been linked with Inter Miami recently.
"To be linked with elite players isn't normal," said Mas. "It's amazing how other teams are looking at us - and we haven’t even kicked off yet."
Alonso says Beckham's presence in the ownership group was a key factor in his decision to move to MLS.
"To have David involved was very important for me," he told AFP. "I have spoken to him and we have great memories of when I played against him.
"Being the head coach is an honour and I am so proud. I have always said the great dreamers never meet their dreams, they surpass them.
"I want to play attacking football, we will play and not react. Since day one it was very clear, this club is an ambitious project and I was eager to join because we share the same ideals.
"I cannot wait to get started."
Prior to taking the job with Monterrey, Alonso spent over three years as head coach of Liga MX side C.F. Pachuca, taking over in December 2014.
Alonso led the team to the 2016 Liga MX Clausura league title and a 2017 Copa MX Apertura runner-up finish.
He also led Pachuca to the 2016/17 Concacaf Champions League title, which qualified the team for the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup, where they finished third.