Bugle Miami

Inter Miami’s three preseason friendlies at IMG Academy canceled for ‘health and safety of players and staff’

Inter Miami CF’s three preseason friendlies this week at IMG Academy have been canceled “out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of players and staff,” the club announced Tuesday afternoon.

They were scheduled to scrimmage the Charleston Battery on Tuesday in addition to the New York Red Bulls (Saturday) and Nashville SC (Saturday) in Bradenton this week.

Inter Miami didn’t comment further on the cancelations when reached via a club spokesperson. Their weekly availability, scheduled for Wednesday, was also canceled.

Nashville SC’s scrimmage against the New York Red Bulls scheduled for March 24 was canceled after a match official tested positive for COVID-19. Their friendly against New York City FC scheduled for March 27 was also canceled. Nashville’s scrimmage against the Tampa Bay Rowdies scheduled for Wednesday at IMG Academy is still set to take place, according to The Tennessean.

The New York Red Bulls played Miami FC in a friendly over the weekend in Bradenton. They’re still scheduled to play the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday before returning home.

Inter Miami’s cancelations this week are a significant hit to their preseason preparations under new coach Phil Neville. They started voluntary training sessions on March 1 and began mandatory practices the next week, but they’ve only played one preseason friendly so far — against the Tampa Bay Rowdies last Saturday.

What was supposed to be Inter Miami’s first preseason match against Miami FC on March 20 was postponed due to a member of Miami FC’s personnel testing positive for COVID-19.

Inter Miami will return to South Florida earlier than expected due to the cancellations for the final 2 1/2 weeks of preseason ahead of their home opener versus the LA Galaxy on April 18 at Inter Miami CF Stadium.

They plan on hosting a final preseason match the weekend of April 10. The details for the final friendly — the opponent and whether the scrimmage will be open to fans — are expected to be announced at a later date.

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