ORLANDO, FLA. (WSVN) - Even though Inter Miami players are excited to get out on the field to play, they’re also stressing safety amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The team is practicing at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando and working to regroup and finally play some games again.
“We don’t lack experience. We don’t lack leadership. I think right now, what we lack is playing time and the ability to really come together as a group and carve out our identity,” said Inter Miami team captain Luis Robles.
Before COVID-19 forced shutdowns, Inter Miami played their first two games in franchise history.
They’re still looking for their first historic win.
On Wednesday, World Cup-style tournaments start with Inter Miami facing off against Orlando City SC.
“I’d say it’d be an adjustment, you know, maybe just taking a two, three month break off soccer there may be still a little rust,” said Inter Miami defender Dylan Nealis. “Going against different faces for once might be a little different, but I think the energy will be there a hundred percent.”
As they prepare for games, Inter Miami players know safety is the top priority as players from other teams have tested positive for COVID-19 prior to arriving in Orlando.
“The biggest thing that we can control is how we address the protocols in front of us, be safe, keep distance, because it’s not just you, it’s your team, it’s the entire league that will be here,” said Inter Miami midfielder Wil Trapp.
“There’s no playbook for this,” said Robles. “As people are trying to understand Covid, or as they’re trying to understand it better, they’re doing their best to keep people safe.”
The players have plenty of downtime after their morning training session and players are able to play card games and head to the golf course.
“Really, what’s been the best is seeing some of these guys who have never played golf before, play golf,” said Robles.
Once the tournament is over, the team will come home to a fanbase that can’t wait to watch a game in the new stadium.
Several Inter Miami fans gave the team a festive send-off before they headed to Orlando.
“I was even pretty shocked about it too when I was walking through it,” said Nealis. “Just the passion our fans are showing, we all know from that send-off that they’re going to be supporting us from home.”
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