Completing the trifecta of former Barcelona stars in south Florida, Jordi Alba is all but certain to make his debut for Inter Miami in the Leagues Cup round of 32 tie against Orlando City. The full-back completed his move to DRV PNK Stadium just before Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets made their debuts.

Jordi Alba is a welcome addition to a team that just lost a starting full-back. In that Cruz Azul game, Ian Fray started at full-back on the right side, usually occupied by DeAndre Yedlin, who was on the left. Unfortunately, Fray tore his ACL, which was the latest in a string of injuries for the American. For Inter Miami, though, Jordi Alba fills the vacancy Fray leaves behind.

Even though Alba only started training with the squad on Sunday, he may make his debut on Wednesday night. In an introductory press conference with the media, Alba maintained that he has been training individually and communicating with coaches.

“It is not easy to train by yourself,” Alba told reporters on Tuesday in Spanish. “But, I was in touch with the coaches here in Miami. I worked hard to be competitive when I arrived. I wanted to train with my teammates and to know them personally. I’m physically okay. In the next few weeks, I’ll be much better, but you have to adapt to the weather first.”

Inter Miami manager Tata Martino confirmed that Alba will be available for selection tomorrow. However, he did not say whether or not that will be as a starter or a substitute.

“He will be among a number of players that will be available to face Orlando,” Martino said. “Tomorrow, we’ll make a final decision.”

Jordi Alba debut with Miami starts new chapter for player and club

This will be Alba’s first time playing for a club outside of Spain. In his hallowed career, Alba made 459 appearances with Barcelona. Impressively, he collected 99 assists from his spot at full-back. Many of those worked with Lionel Messi on the opposite side of the field. Then, with Spain, Alba won both the Nations League and the European Championship. The one thing he is missing from his trophy cabinet is the World Cup, which Spain won just before Alba made his senior debut.

However, he does not see Inter Miami as a time to start relaxing. Instead, he wants to win everything possible with the Floridian club. It helps that he is acclimating well to his teammates, some new and some old.

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“It seems to me that I have been here all my life,” Alba said. “I hope to compete and win everything. That is the hope I have when I am in a good team, and that is no different with Inter Miami.”

Winning everything starts with the Leagues Cup, Inter Miami’s first, and potentially best, chance for trophies in the 2023 campaign.

“I’ve had the fortune of being able to win everything in Europe. For me, I want to continue being the same player I have been in Europe. It is the same demands coming to a club that is still growing but is establishing itself. I’m coming with a lot of hope and excitement. I’ll try to continue what I’ve been doing throughout my entire career, and that is win collectively every title possible.”

Starting with Orlando City

Alba and Martino faced questions over the comparisons between the Inter Miami against Orlando City derby and El Clásico in Spain. Alba has played in 34, and Martino coached three of them when the pair was at Barcelona. Still, the manager laughed off the comparisons, saying it has a long way to go.

Regardless, this is a major game for both Inter Miami and Orlando City. Miami, which has been reeling in the league, can look to the two cup competitions as a major bright spot. With the form Messi and Busquets are bringing to their teammates, a matchup with Orlando City is the next step to build the club out of a brutal first half of the campaign.

For Orlando City, this can be a statement game. Everyone in the American sports media is talking about Inter Miami and its three stars. All the while, Orlando is a comfortable fifth in the Eastern Conference, and it sees the Leagues Cup as a chance for more trophies. Last season, it won the US Open Cup. Can the club get a second piece of hardware with the Leagues Cup? Facing Miami’s front three is a tall task.Duncan McGuire will lead the line for Orlando City as it hopes to keep up with its rival’s scoring.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Pressinphoto

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