Miami Herald

Inter Miami energized by crowd but falls to Galaxy in opener

- BY MICHELLE KAUFMAN mkaufman@miamiheral­d.com

Finally, after seven long years of interrupte­d dreams, David Beckham and a national TV audience got a taste of what Major League Soccer can look, feel and sound like in South Florida.

Dressed in tailored suits, despite the sweltering 90degree heat, surrounded by family and celebrity friends,

Beckham and Inter Miami co-owner Jorge Mas watched from the front row of DRV PNK Stadium as their revamped team dominated the first 70 minutes but fell short 3-2 to the Los Angeles Galaxy in the season opener.

Although just 8,000 fans were permitted in the 18,000seat stadium, per COVID restrictio­ns,

the atmosphere was electric. Most of the stadium had socially distanced seating, but the diehard supporter groups packed the north stands and made enough noise to make up for all the empty seats.

They never stopped singing, mostly in Spanish. They banged drums. They set off pink smoke bombs. Soaking it all in from across the stadium were celebrity fans Tom Brady, Marc Anthony, Pharrell Williams and Liv Tyler, who showed up to support Beckham.

“The supporters were great,” said Inter Miami coach Phil Neville, who was making his debut after being hired in January. “When we’ve been without supporters for so long,

 ?? MATIAS J. OCNER mocner@miamiheral­d.com ?? Inter Miami forward Gonzalo Higuain scores on a penalty kick against the L.A. Galaxy on Sunday. The goal gave Inter Miami a 2-1 lead in the 68th minute, but L.A. rallied for the victory in the season-opening match at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.
Inter Miami, playing in front of a spirited crowd of 8,000, dominated much of the game but lost 3-2 to the L.A. Galaxy as Chicharito scored twice for the visitors.
MATIAS J. OCNER mocner@miamiheral­d.com Inter Miami forward Gonzalo Higuain scores on a penalty kick against the L.A. Galaxy on Sunday. The goal gave Inter Miami a 2-1 lead in the 68th minute, but L.A. rallied for the victory in the season-opening match at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale. Inter Miami, playing in front of a spirited crowd of 8,000, dominated much of the game but lost 3-2 to the L.A. Galaxy as Chicharito scored twice for the visitors.

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