DAVID BECKHAM suffered an opening day MLS defeat – but there was plenty to make Golden Balls proud.
Perched in the posh seats with wife Victoria, eldest son Brooklyn and pals including Gordon Ramsey, Becks watched his new Inter Miami team take to the field for the very first time against last season’s high-fliers LAFC.
It was a wonder goal from former Arsenal hitman Carlos Vela which settled a lively clash but this performance wasn’t all doom and gloom for Miami.
Far from it.
The Mexican, who bagged 34 goals last term and was named the best player in the League, produced a sublime piece of magic just before half-time, beating two defenders before superbly chipping keeper Luis Robles.
Vela was the difference but Inter Miami boss Diego Alonso would have been proud of his MLS newcomers who have only been training together for a few weeks.
New £10million midfield man Rodolfo Pizarro took a while to get going but the Mexican international certainly grew into the game and almost drew Becks’ boys level early on in the second half just moments after striker Robbie Robinson also went close.
An impressive 300 fans from South Florida had made the 4,000 mile round trip to Los Angeles and, after waiting six years for this very moment, sung their hearts out for 90 minutes.
They even got the chance to mob Beckham before the clash, in a picture the former England captain shared on his Instagram page.
LAFC had dominated the early stages and with Vela bang in the mood, it looked like being one hell of a long afternoon for Alonso’s men.
Home favourite Brian Rodriguez was a livewire, causing all kinds of problems for a shaky Miami defence who looked understandably nervous.
But Beckham’s team were far more assured as the game wore on with Pizarro becoming more influential while Argentine centre-half Nicolas Figal also impressed.
The chances kept on coming as the home side started to run out of steam – Robinson went close once more but that finishing touch just wasn’t there for the American 21 year-old.
Miami now travel to DC United next weekend before the hotly anticipated home opening of their new stadium in Fort Lauderdale on March 14th against Beckham’s former team LA Galaxy.
Defeat will hurt – but the signs are undoubtedly bright for Becks.