Yesterday, Business of Soccer had the privilege and pleasure to attend one of Inter Milan’s training sessions open to media. The team, whose base in the United States is in Washington DC trains on Catholic University’s athletic facilities, specifically on their “Patriot Bermuda Grass” field.
Inter is in the United States to participate in Relevant Sports’ International Champions Cup, sponsored by Guinness. One man at the training session particularly familiar with the area was Michael Williamson, Internazionale’s Chief Financial Officer. Williamson is DC United’s former Chief Operating Officer and only recently made the switch to Inter back in February.
Inter Milan has another connection to Washington in Indonesian businessman Erik Thohir, President of Inter Milan and also majority shareholder of DC United.
The team arrived in Washington that same day having spent a couple weeks at their Pinzolo training facility in Italian Alps. The team arrived at the field prepared to train but received a surprise reception from a large group of fans, many of whom were members of Inter’s first official supporters group for the DC area and the sixth in the United States, Inter Club Washington.
Following the reception, Walter Mazzarri’s team went through some light warm ups and stretching followed by some ball work but the heat of the day soon brought dark clouds, light wind, and eventually thunder. Despite shortening the training session, the weather didn’t stop the players from interacting with media and the loyal fans who showed up.
Newly signed defender Nemanja Vidic, midfielder Rene Krhin and goalkeeper Tommaso Berni were available to respond to media questions but the real time was spent signing autographs with fans and kids wearing Inter Milan Flags.
All in all, Inter look ready to kick off their Pre-season campaign which they kick of on Saturday the 26th against Real Madrid at California Memorial Stadium in Berkley CA. Following the game in Berkley, they return to the east coast to play Manchester United, Vidic’s former club, in Landover MD at Fedex Field on Tuesday July 29th. Their final group game comes against Scudetto rivals Roma in Philadelphia at Lincoln Financial Field on August 2nd. If Inter advance out of Group B, they’ll play the winner of Group A in the International Champions Cup Final at Sunlife Stadium in Miami on August 4th.