Inter Miami’s season opener Sunday against the Los Angeles Galaxy drew more than 500,000 TV viewers nationwide. An audience of 482,000 watched on ABC, the second-highest English-language soccer broadcast of the week, and another 75,000 watched in Spanish on ESPN Deportes.
It was the largest audience for MLS on ESPN networks’ opening day since 2011. Top markets were, in order, Birmingham, Ala., Austin, Columbus, Raleigh-Durham, Las Vegas, Miami-Ft Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Portland, Orlando and Atlanta.
The game was of particular interest to Mexican-Americans, as Inter Miami features Rodolfo Pizarro and the Galaxy has Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, who scored two goals in the Galaxy’s 3-2 victory. Both play for the Mexican national team.
The debut of Austin SC against Los Angeles FC on Fox topped the list with 485,000 viewers. English Premier League matchup Burnley vs. Manchester United drew 416,000 on NBCSN, followed by the U.S. Women’s National Team win over France (288,000 on ESPN2), and Fulham vs. Arsenal (231,000 on NBCSN).
▪ Marsman on Inter Miami: Dutch goalkeeper Nick Marsman, who is leaving Feyenoord to join Inter Miami in July, told media outlet FC Afkicken that he was persuaded to make the move by what he heard and saw during the club’s conversations with him.
“[They] came up with a whole slick presentation,” said Marsman, 30. “Actually, I didn’t have to say anything. It said how they see it for me, what they expect from me and how I fit into their image. I think that is also nice for a player. That they want you and that they appreciate you as a keeper, with your qualities.”
The presentation included a personal video from coach Phil Neville and a promotional video of the club’s stadium and training facilities.
He said he got an idea of how Neville wants his keepers to play.
“What they have said is that they have been impressed with all the matches they have seen and the way I play “, he said.” What I do, from playing backwards, being close behind the defense, leading the defense. They had shown quite a lot of images of that. How they want to see it and how they see a goalkeeper.”
John McCarthy is Miami’s starting goalkeeper, and the backups are Dylan Castanheira and Drake Callender.
▪ Training Notes: Defender/midfielder Brek Shea and midfielder Jay Chapman returned to practice this week after missing the previous two weeks and the season opener. Shea had a back strain, per Neville, and Chapman had an undisclosed injury… Inter Miami had a closed-door scrimmage against USL team Miami FC on Monday night. Miami FC coach Paul Dalglish said of the match: “I was really pleased with the first hour we were really, really good. The last half hour we maybe got a little spent, which is understandable. We’re two weeks out from the start of the season, they’ve started the season, although they needed the game, as well, because we both had setbacks with COVID. Their class showed in the last 30 minutes and caused us some problems, so we have to build on those first 60 minutes.”