PREVIEW: Inter Miami v FC Barcelona

PREVIEW: Inter Miami v FC Barcelona

The team presided by David Beckham is the first opponent of the US Tour in a game at the DRV PNK Stadium, Fort Lauderdale

FC Barcelona are back in the United States for another summer tour, and after a couple of days of training in southern Florida, Tuesday brings the first of four preseason friendlies that they’ll be playing in the country. Major League Soccer side Inter Miami are the opposition, Fort Lauderdale is the venue, and the game kicks off at 8.00pm local time, which is 2.00am in the early hours of Wednesday morning for fans watching back home in Barcelona.

The game is being screened live to viewers in Spain on Barça TV+, while fans in the rest of the world can see it in delay 12 hours later. But wherever you are, you can catch all of our usual minute by minute updates right here in our Match Center and on our official social networks. In the US and elsewhere in most of North America, the game is being shown live on TUDN.

Team news

After drawing 1-1 with lower league side Olot from Catalonia in their opening preseason fixture, the Barça squad has since been boosted by the presence of the international stars who reported back a week later than the rest.

The big news is that they have also been joined in Florida by star signing Robert Lewandowski, but the Polish international won’t be ready to play in this one.

However, the chances are that we’ll be getting our first sight of both Andreas Christensen of Denmark and Raphinha of Brazil playing for the team. The other new inclusion for 2022/23, Franck Kessie, already featured in the game with Olot.

Also making its debut is the brand new Barça home jersey for the new season, after the golden away strip was used in the first fixture.

The opposition

Founded in 2018, Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami is one of the youngest sides in MLS and its president, David Beckham, is one of the most recognisable faces in world football. Wearing pink, black and white, in their first two seasons in the MLS season they have finished 19th and 20th overall. Last season, the top goalscorer was Gonzalo Higuaín, a man Barça fans will remember very well from his days at Real Madrid.

Since January 2021, they have been coached by another former Manchester United and England star, Phil Neville, who before that had been in charge of the England women’s team.

They’re 20 games into the current MLS season. After three games without a win, they beat Charlotte FC 3-2 at the weekend to move to within two points of FC Cincinnati and a place in the playoff zone. Their top goalscorer this season is Ecuadorian Leonardo Campana, on loan from Wolves in the English Premier League, who has ten.

The team might be young, but there is no shortage of international experience in the side, including Joevin Jones (Trinidad & Tobago, 79 caps), Gonzalo Higuaín (Argentina, 75), DeAndre Yedlin (USA, 74), Damion Lowe (Jamaica, 48), Brek Shea (USA, 34), Robert Taylor (Finland, 20), Ariel Lassiter (Costa Rica, 17), Jairo Quinteros (Bolivia, 13), Kieran Gibbs (England, 10) and Leonardo Campana (Ecuador, 10).


Head to head

Not surprisingly, this is the first time that Barça have ever played Inter Miami, but in games against current MLS sides, they currently have a 100 per cent record:

2006: New York Red Bulls 1-4 Barça
2008: New York Red Bulls 2-6 Barça
2009: LA Galaxy 1-2 Barça
2009: Seattle Sounders 0-4 Barça

The only time Barça have ever been beaten by a side from the US was a 5-2 loss to the old New York Cosmos team in 1984.

This is the fourth time that Barça have played in the Miami area. They lost 4-1 to Guadalajara of Mexico in 2011 but have since beaten both Real Madrid and Napoli in the city. All three of those games were played at the home of NFL team the Miami Dolphins, currently known as the Hard Rock Stadium.

The venue

There is a new venue this time. Until the 25,000 capacity Miami Freedom Park opens on the site of a former golf course near to Miami airport, the team is playing its home fixtures at the temporary 18,000 DRV PNK Stadium (pronounced Drive Pink) in Fort Lauderdale, which lies about 30 miles north of Miami along the Atlantic coast.

The ground is expected to be packed for this one, while temperatures are currently around 32º C.


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Força Barça

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