Major League Soccer’s preseason is underway, with all 29 teams reporting to training camps this week in advance of practice games at the end of January. If you feel like Columbus won the 2023 MLS Cup about five minutes ago, you’re not alone — this is one of the shortest offseasons in MLS history, with just 38 days between last season’s title match and the start of preseason.
There are plenty of narratives to follow as MLS warms up for the 2024 season, but some are more compelling than others. Here are three teams we’re watching closely as they begin their next MLS campaigns:
No one’s preseason schedule is fuller, wilder or more compelling than Inter Miami’s. The Florida club will take on national teams from El Salvador and Hong Kong and face star-studded Saudi Arabian teams in Cristiano Ronaldo and Sadio Mané’s Al-Nassr and Neymar and Aleksandar Mitrović’s Al-Hilal.
The key to Miami’s preseason is the development of its so-called “Fab Four”: Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Luis Suarez. This quartet played together for six seasons at Barcelona, but they haven’t linked up since Suarez’s controversial departure from the club in 2020.