South Florida getting a 2nd MLS team (at least for now)

A view of Inter Miami CF Stadium prior to a game between Inter Miami CF and Orlando City SC on October 24, 2020, in Fort Lauderdale. (Michael Reaves, 2020 Getty Images)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – After all this time waiting for Major League Soccer’s return to South Florida, Fort Lauderdale will have two teams in town this season.

CF Montreal announced Monday that they will train and play home games at Inter Miami CF Stadium to begin the year because of travel restrictions from the Canadian government during the coronavirus pandemic.

The NBA’s Toronto Raptors are playing this season in Tampa for the same reason.

CF Montreal played its 2020 home games in Harrison, New Jersey.

“I want to thank Inter Miami CF for welcoming us. Just like in New Jersey last year with the Red Bulls, we will have access to top infrastructures and favorable weather, which made us choose Florida,” CF Montréal Sporting Director Olivier Renard said in a statement. “Once again, it will be a very special situation and we want our players to be in the best possible conditions before coming back to play in Montreal. We will do everything in our power to allow the players and the staff to be joined by their families so they can feel good while they are away from home.”

Inter Miami is heading into its second season in the league and said it’s looking forward to hosting its new roommates.

“Montreal and all of our Canadian teams are in a very difficult situation, and we are looking forward to doing everything possible to make this transition as seamless as possible,” said Inter Miami CF Chief Soccer Officer and Sporting Director Chris Henderson. “We are blessed with great facilities and staff members who are ready to support.”

CF Montreal also announced that it has promoted Wilfried Nancy to head coach, replacing Thierry Henry, who resigned Feb. 25. Nancy, 43, had been an assistant coach since 2016.

Montreal expects to travel to the U.S. on April 6, 11 days before the season begins.

MLS has not yet announced its full 2021 regular-season schedule.