Inter Miami has a new head coach, and the name is a familiar one to English soccer fans. On Monday according to Sky Sports, Inter Milan named Phil Neville of Bury, England as their new head coach. Neville, who played 505 games with Manchester United and Everton from 1994 to 2013, also was on the English national team as a full-back for 12 seasons from 1996 to 2007.
Neville has prior soccer experience as a manager. For the last four years he had been the manager of the English National Women’s Soccer Team. In 2019, England made women’s soccer headlines when the country won the SheBelieves Cup in the United States for the first time. In the tournament, England posted a record of two wins and one draw. They defeated Brazil 2-1 and Japan 3-0, while tying the United States at two goals apiece.
Then at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, England won Group D with a 2-1 win over Scotland, a 1-0 win over Argentina, and a 2-0 win over Japan. In the round of 16, England beat Cameroon 3-0, and then knocked out Norway by an identical 3-0 result in the quarterfinals. Then in the semifinals, England lost 2-1 to the United States before losing 2-1 to Sweden in the bronze medal game. The fact that England finished among the top three European nations at the World Cup helped them qualify in women’s soccer at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021.
Neville was supposed to be the head coach of England at the Olympic Games, but there was a change in direction following England’s losses to the United States and Spain at the 2020 SheBelieves Cup, and the fact the Olympic tournament would be delayed a full year because of coronavirus. Hege Riise of Norway has been named the interim head coach for English women’s soccer.
Meanwhile, Neville takes over from Diego Alonso of Uruguay for Inter Miami. Last season in Miami’s first season of Major League Soccer, Alonso had a record of seven wins, 13 losses and three draws. Inter Miami has another English connection as its part-owner and president is former English soccer sensation David Beckham.