Sunday , May 9 2021

Inter Miami name Phil Neville head coach, Chris Henderson sporting director!

In sweeping sporting changes heading into Year Two, Inter Miami CF have named Phil Neville head coach and Chris Henderson chief soccer officer and sporting director.

Neville takes over for Diego Alonso, while Henderson steps in following Paul McDonough’s departure after Miami finished 10th in the Eastern Conference in 2020, making the playoffs, but losing to fellow expansion side Nashville SC 0-3 in a Play-In match.

“I am very happy with the leadership group we have established to lead the team as we turn the page following our inaugural season and look forward to having Chris and Phil join us soon,” co-owner David Beckham said in a club statement. “I have known Phil since we were both teenagers at the Manchester United Academy. We share a footballing DNA, having been trained by some of the best leaders in the game, and it’s those values that I have always wanted running through our club.”

Neville joins following a spell in charge of the England women’s national team, which was his first head coaching job following a distinguished playing career and a few years on various coaching staffs. He was an assistant with England’s U-21 national team, Manchester United and CF Valencia. Neville featured for Manchester United and Everton during his playing career, making more than 500 Premier League appearances between the clubs. He won the league six times, as well as the Champions League once plus four FA Cups.

The Englishman inherits an Inter Miami roster not short on talent, featuring the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Blaise Matuidi, Rodolfo Pizarro, Lewis Morgan and others.

“I am incredibly delighted for this opportunity to coach Inter Miami and to work with Chris and the entire ownership group,” Neville said in a club statement. “This is a very young club with a lot of promise and upside, and I am committed to challenging myself, my players and everyone around me to grow and build a competitive soccer culture we can all be proud of. This fantastic soccer-loving market deserves consistent performances and a winning mentality, and I look forward to getting to work.”

Henderson spent the last 13 seasons as sporting director for the Seattle Sounders, where he helped guide the club to a plethora of trophies, including two MLS Cups, one Supporters’ Shield and four US Open Cups.

He spent 11 years in MLS, including the inaugural 1996 season, and made 317 career appearances, including 25 for the defunct Miami Fusion in 2001. Henderson also made 79 appearances with the US national team.

“This is an incredible opportunity for me to take the next step in my career, return back to South Florida and solidify my mark on this league,” said Henderson. “I have always believed in the Inter Miami project and the club’s ability to become a powerhouse not only in MLS, but across the global soccer industry. My goal is to work with the technical staff to ensure we have a roster that fits the style of soccer we want while maintaining a healthy pipeline of youth, league wide and international players who could contribute to the team’s success on and off the field. I’m looking forward to joining Inter Miami’s journey and reconnecting with the fanbase in South Florida.”

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