David Beckham club, Inter Miami succumbed to defeat in their first MLS match with a 1-0 loss to Los Angeles FC on Sunday evening at California Stadium.
LAFC asserted their dominance in the opening stages, having played their first MLS game in March 2018 and have reached the playoffs in each of their first two seasons in the league. The hosts, managed by the former long-serving USA head coach Bob Bradley, looked so good after a superb last season.
Former Arsenal and Real Sociedad forward Carlos Vela crossed to Diego Rossi after five minutes but his header across goal was acrobatically saved by the goalkeeper Luis Robles, who joined Inter after making 238 appearances for New York Red Bulls.
LAFC had the ball in the net four minutes later only for Mark-Anthony Kaye’s goal to be ruled out for offside against Rossi. Miami began to grow into the contest and forced the former Netherlands international Kenneth Vermeer into a smart save after 37 minutes, diving to his left to deny Matias Pellegrini.
But Vela, on his 31st birthday, produced a piece of individual brilliance to give LAFC the lead on the stroke of half-time, dancing his way to the edge of the area before executing a sublime chip over Robles.
The hosts thought they had doubled the lead 30 seconds into the second half but Rossi was denied by the offside flag once again. The Mexico international Rodolfo Pizarro then came within inches of scoring Miami’s historic first goal in MLS, but his prodded effort fell just the wrong side of the post.
Speaking after the game, Beckham commended his players for a good display, adding that he is proud of the team. He, however, expressed huge optimism for the future despite the defeat.
Beckham said: “Very proud moment for our club today and the team did us proud.
“It’s been a long journey but this is only the beginning. To Diego, the team and our entire staff…we should be very proud of how far we have come and what the future holds.
“Exciting times ahead.”
Also reacting to the defeat, Inter Miami manager Diego Alonso expressed his happiness with the first performance and urged the club supporters to continue to show faith in the players.
He told the club’s official website: “We had several very clear chances to get ahead on the scoreboard.
“It was the same after going 1-0 down as we pushed to get an equalizer. I’ll stay with that. With the heart the team showed.
“Surely we have to improve in football, but with this heart and with this intensity with which the team plays, we will surely win many games.
“Against maybe the best team in the league we gave a tremendous picture today of what we can become. With only six weeks of work, the merit is certainly from the footballers for what we have done today and the work they have done.”