New York City Football Club take on Inter Miami CF on Saturday evening.
Hi Dre, thank you for speaking with us. How long have you been covering Inter Miami CF?
Thanks for having me. I was part of Inter Miami's original on-air broadcast team from the inaugural season in 2020, through the end of the 2022 season, before Apple TV took over global broadcasting rights. I now cover Major League Soccer for Apple TV, as well as domestic and European soccer for CBS / Paramount+. It was with the latter that I called Miami's U.S. Open Cup final defeat to Houston this past week.
What has been your highlight in that time?
We are very much living through the highlight moments now with the arrival of Messi, Busquets, and Alba - players I covered for close to 15 years while working with La Liga rights holders. They've transformed Miami into the most exciting team in the league. Messi's debut against Cruz Azul was special. Like something out of a discarded movie script, rejected for being a little too on the nose. We didn't know for sure whether he would play, so the fact he did so for most of the second half would have been enough for me. But then he goes on and scores a stoppage-time free kick winner with virtually the last kick of the game.
How would you evaluate their 2023 season so far?
Even if Miami ultimately falls short of the playoffs, the season will be thought of as a categorical success. It produced the first two finals appearances in club history, and the first trophy. The Leagues Cup title came during an 11-match unbeaten run that any fan will tell you has been the most fun they've had following this team.
What are your hopes for the team for the rest of the season?
My hope is that Inter somehow squeezes into the playoffs. If Messi is fit, there isn't a team in the league that they can't compete against. So just getting in could lead to a deep postseason run. And why not, maybe even a first MLS Cup.
What do you think will be the deciding factor in the game on Saturday?
Fresh legs - or the lack of them - is probably Miami's main obstacle going into Saturday's match. The team looked tired in the US Open Cup final on Wednesday. Messi and Alba didn't dress, and Miami will remain shorthanded for the foreseeable future.
For any fans that might be in Miami for a game in the near future, are there any pregame spots you suggest they check out?
Funky Buddha Brewery is kind of a staple in that area. It's a tap house for a famous Florida craft beer. Good for a bite and a drink before or after the game. They are welcome to comp me a beer next time I drop by after this.