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Inter Miami’s revamped roster includes Jairo Quinteros

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Bolivian defender Jairo Quinteros is one of many new faces on the Inter Miami roster as training camp is set to begin Jan. 17, 2022.

Bolivian defender Jairo Quinteros is one of many new faces on the Inter Miami roster as training camp is set to begin Jan. 17, 2022.

Inter Miami

Most of the big Inter Miami headlines this off-season have been about the departures of well-known players — Rodolfo Pizarro, Lewis Morgan, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Christian Makoun, Julian Carranza – and the expected exit of Blaise Matuidi.

Not getting nearly as much attention is the fact that the club has been reloading with young talent, including 20-year-old defender Jairo Quinteros, back after a two-year loan to Bolivian club Bolivar.

Quinteros, whose family moved from Bolivia to Spain when he was three, developed his game at Valencia’s youth academy from age 13 to 19, during which he briefly crossed paths with Inter Miami coach Phil Neville, who was an assistant coach with the first team.

Quinteros is one of at least 10 new players who will be on the Inter Miami roster when training camp opens Jan. 17.

The club got Brazilian midfielder Jean Mota from Santos, midfielder Bryce Duke from Los Angeles FC, midfielder/fullback Mo Adams from Atlanta United, winger/forward Ariel Lassiter (son of former MLS star Roy Lassiter) from Houston Dynamo and signed former Montreal FC goalkeeper Clement Diop, who has been training with Inter Miami since last fall.

Another half-dozen or so players are expected to be added in the coming days, according to sources. The club is finalizing contracts with Swedish-American center back Christopher McVey and Jamaican defender Damion Lowe. Also, several players from the club’s Fort Lauderdale USL team will be promoted, including 6-6 center back Aime Mabika, who played two games for Inter Miami last season.

The club is reducing its payroll partly due to MLS sanctions for roster violations in 2020, but also because Neville and chief soccer officer Chris Henderson, dissatisfied with last year’s results, want to infuse the squad with youth, speed, and hunger.

Quinteros fits the bill.

“I learned a lot the past two years as a player and a person and I come back with big ambitions,” Quinteros said by phone this week. “I want to be a good teammate and I am here to compete. The changes they are making are to improve the team and achieve big things and I want to be part of that.”

Although he is young, Quinteros has experience on big stages. He played in the Copa Libertadores and Copa America tournaments and played for Bolivia in World Cup qualifiers. He kept up with Inter Miami from Bolivia.

“The Inter Miami results weren’t what we wanted but I saw a team that works very hard and has a European philosophy, which is the way I learned to play at Valencia,” he said. “Going from Valencia’s academy to a pro club like Bolivar was a big step in my career, and now I am ready for the next step with Major League Soccer.”

He had never been to the United States, so he is getting adjusted.

“So far, I am very impressed with the club, my teammates and the facilities are top notch,” he said. “I am looking for a place to live and adapting little by little. I am excited to explore Miami and the whole United States. Any young player would be excited to play for Inter Miami and we are all coming in eager to prove ourselves. You look at NYCFC, which won the title with young players, and we want to do the same.”

The club plans to play five or six preseason games against Columbus Crew, D.C. United and CF Montreal, all of which are training at Inter Miami’s facilities. The season opener is Feb. 26 at home against the Chicago Fire.

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Miami Herald sportswriter Michelle Kaufman has covered 14 Olympics, six World Cups, Wimbledon, U.S. Open, NCAA Basketball Tournaments, NBA Playoffs, Super Bowls and has been the soccer writer and University of Miami basketball beat writer for 25 years. She was born in Frederick, Md., and grew up in Miami.





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MATCH RECAP: 5 things to know from Wednesday’s preseason friendly vs. Portland Timbers in Tucson

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The 2022 season is underway!

On Wednesday night, the Seattle Sounders played to a scoreless draw against the Portland Timbers at Kino North Stadium on a clear and chilly night in Tucson.

The match featured the first time we’ve seen a handful of Sounders in action, including Designated Player signing Albert Rusnák and Homegrown Player Dylan Teves. The chances were there, the defense was strong, and there is plenty to be excited about after the season debut. Let’s get into it!

The first 60 minutes featured a starter-heavy lineup in a 4-2-3-1 formation. The only non-First Team players were the outside backs, with Tacoma Defiance’s Joe Hafferty and Randy Mendoza playing alongside Yeimar and AB Cissoko in the back.

The next 30 minutes shifted to a 5-4-1 formation that was anchored by First Teamers Will Bruin, Sam Adeniran, and Stefan Cleveland. That group mostly featured recent SuperDraft selections, and Sounders Academy/Tacoma Defiance players.

There wasn’t a goal on the scoresheet to show for it, but Léo Chú looked dangerous in his hour on the pitch. Owning the left flank, Chú had a knack for getting in good positions and finding Raúl Ruidíaz, who had multiple shot attempts in the first half. There were at least two instances where he burst past a one-on-one defender and sent a dangerous cross near goal. On another occasion, Chú, Ruidíaz, and Rusnák combined for a string of passes that leaves us all excited about their potential on the pitch together. The running nickname for this phenomenon is the “ChuRuRu” — spread the word.

In a move showcasing their ability to play all over the pitch, Kelyn Rowe and Albert Rusnák linked up in the central midfield behind a line of three attacking midfielders. We know Rowe’s versatility based on his efforts from last year, and that Rusnák tended to play in an attacking position with Real Salt Lake. Playing a bit further back in this match didn’t lessen their effectiveness as both were very involved, particularly Rusnák, in leading counterattacks.

Just like we saw often in 2021, having Stefan Frei or Stefan Cleveland (or in tonight’s case — both) is a very good thing. Portland didn’t have too many chances in a match that favored possession towards Seattle, but when they did, the last line of defense was there to halt any chances. In a season that features competitive matches in less than one month with Concacaf Champions League, a healthy and confident goalkeeping crew is a great way to start the campaign.

Regardless of the preseason nature of the match, it was still a professional setting with fans in the stands and two rivals on the pitch. It was great exposure for young First Team players like Sam Adeniran, who had several shot attempts in his 30 minutes on the field. Sota Kitahara, who is under contract with Tacoma Defiance, was a noticeable offensive presence in the midfield, while Tacoma Defiance’s Jackson Ragen anchored a backline alongside 2022 SuperDraft selection Achille Robin.





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Midfielder Celeste Boureille departs Thorns FC

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Celeste Boureille has informed Thorns FC of her impending move to a European-based club, the club confirmed today, with an announcement regarding her next destination expected in the near future

Boureille, 27, was out of contract with the Thorns after the 2021 National Women’s Soccer League season and had announced her departure from the team on Monday via social media.

She joined the Thorns as an undrafted free agent before the 2016 season and went on to make 66 regular-season appearances with the club over her six seasons. She was part of NWSL Shield winning teams in 2016 and 2021 and was member of the Thorns’ NWSL Championship team in 2017.

“My time as a Thorn has been an amazingly rewarding experience and I have loved every second of it,” Boureille said on Twitter. “Thank you to the entire Portland organization for giving me this unforgettable opportunity since day one as a Pro.”





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Charlotte FC eye more DPs beyond “special player” Karol Świderski

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Krneta assured that more additions are on the way, too, particularly of the DP variety (as many as two more). Ecuador international midfielder Jordy Alcívar is currently a Young DP, though that classification could change come roster compliance day.

“We’re looking for more,” Krneta said. “There will be more DPs, we have options and this is why we build the club and the roster in a way that we can cherry-pick, if you like, at the end of the roster-building who we want. … These very good players, it’s not easy to get these players over the line. There’s always an issue or two. But hopefully soon we’ll add one or two more players.”

As key signings are finalized, Świderski is relishing the opportunity – and natural pressure – that awaits him in Charlotte.

“America, this was my dream also,” Świderski said. “I’m so happy to be here.”





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