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MLS NEXT Sep 12, 2023

Inter Miami CF signs 16-year-old Santiago Morales as Homegrown Player

Inter Miami CF has signed Academy product Santiago Morales as a Homegrown Player to a contract running through the 2027 MLS season, with an option for 2028. The up-and-coming midfielder is now the seventh Inter Miami CF Academy product to sign for the First Team, and the second to sign this year.

“Santi is a promising young midfielder who has been here since the start, growing within our development pathway. He has impressed with the Academy and Inter Miami CF II, and we believe he has significant potential,” said Chief Soccer Officer and Sporting Director Chris Henderson. “Santi has shown us that he can compete at a high level, and we’re very excited to continue his development here at Inter Miami.”

Morales, 16, first joined the Club in 2019, as a part of Inter Miami CF Academy’s inaugural class, and featured in the Academy’s official debut match at home in South Florida that same year.

Since then, the attacking midfielder has rapidly ascended through the Club’s youth ranks making appearances for the Club’s U-13, U-14, U-15, and U-17 squads. Notably, Morales starred during Inter Miami Academy U-15’s season in 2022, earning MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs MVP honors, leading the team to the MLS NEXT Cup title, becoming national champions for the first time in Club history.

Recently, the American youth international has made appearances for the Club’s MLS NEXT Pro affiliate, Inter Miami CF II, during this year’s regular season. Morales made his professional debut on June 11, coming off the bench during a 1-1 draw against Toronto FC II at DRV PNK Stadium, and has gone on to make 10 total appearances, seven of those starts for Inter Miami II. Morales netted his first career professional goal against Crown Legacy FC on Aug. 19 and overall has registered two goals and an assist in the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro regular season.

Morales has also been a regular at the youth international level for the U.S. youth men’s national teams, being called up several occasions and featuring at the U-15 and U-16 levels. Notably, he received a call-up in May 2023 to represent the U-16 MYNT at the 2023 International Dream Cup in Fukushima, Japan. During the competition, the midfielder made three appearances, two of them starts, while bagging two goals and serving as captain for two matches.

Morales joins Noah Allen, Edison Azcona, Benjamin Cremaschi, Ian Fray, David Ruiz and Felipe Valencia as the first Homegrown signings to graduate from the Club’s Academy to the First Team.

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