(Reuters) – Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham admits he is running low on patience as he looks for his club to finally make an impact in Major League Soccer when the new season kicks off on Saturday.
As a player Beckham, the former-England captain and Manchester United, Real Madrid and Los Angeles Galaxy star, found plenty of success and collected a mountain of trophies. However, as a club owner, the path to the top has proved to be a bumpy one.
Since making their MLS debut in 2020, Inter Miami finished 10th and 11th in the 14-team Eastern Conference with an uninspiring 19-8-30 record matched only by some lacklustre play.
Inter Miami will launch their third season at home on Saturday against the Chicago Fire with a new look pink kit, a revamped line-up featuring at least 10 new players and a renewed to commitment to contend for the MLS Cup and Shield.
“What have we learned the last two years?” mused Beckham during a media call on Friday to discuss the new season.
“Have a little bit of patience which I don’t have much of but as an owner and someone who has high expectations needs to have a little bit.
“We have to be patient but do we have that patience much longer?
“Of course not because we are winners and have expectations.”
Beckham noted that he has displayed considerable composure in bringing an MLS franchise to South Florida guiding it through a process that has been fraught with delays from putting together an ownership group to finding a home and the construction of a new stadium.
Once again Inter Miami will play their home matches not at the downtown state-of-the-art stadium they had planned but a temporary facility outside of Ft. Lauderdale.
Jorge Mas, Inter Miami CEO and managing owner, said there will be a hearing with the city of Miami on March 9 where the club hopes to get the green light to push ahead with construction of 25,000-seat stadium that would be part of the Miami Freedom Park project, a 58-acre green space and tech hub that will include shops and restaurants.
“Finally we have a date after two-and-a-half years of rigorous negotiations,” said Mas. “We’re really looking forward to doing the hard part which is building a stadium that I think will be transformational for Miami.”
On the pitch Beckham said he has not lost faith or patience with his coach, former-England and Manchester United team mate Phil Neville, who after a tough first season in charge will have the players he believes can compete for championships.
“Changing coaches after the first year was something we felt needed and wanted to do,” said Beckham. Bringing “Phil in last year with a roster that really wasn’t his was always going to be a challenge but I think Phil did an incredible job.
“You need stability, you need patience but this is a big season for us.”
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Pritha Sarkar)