LAFC welcomed Inter Miami to the MLS with a 1-0 victory at the Banc of California Stadium on Sunday, March 1. The matchup between the record-breaking home team and the newly minted visitors—owned by beloved Galaxy alum David Beckham—was a treat of an opener, with the MLS Commissioner and Victoria Beckham both in attendance, in addition to thousands of local fans ready to jumpstart the season. Now in its third year, LAFC is already regarded as a top contender for the MLS Cup and one of the most valuable clubs in the MLS.
The first half saw LAFC maintain a comfortable dominance, with a near goal in the first ten minutes, and an actual goal at 43 minutes via captain and Golden Boot winner Carlos Vela.
Come second half, the home side almost made it a two-point lead in the first minute was it not for an off-sides call, but the new kids on the block weren't content to be bullied much longer. With a little shove here, and a little armbar there, Inter players sent a message they were here to play.
Both MLS SuperDraft first pick Robbie Robinson and former Monterrey midfielder Rodolfo Pizarro had multiple looks at goal, but couldn't quite find the back of the net. (Pizarro and Vela were touted on the title card as the Mexican matchup to watch). And despite captain Luis Robles' first half goal admission, the game could easily be described as Goalie Wars, with exceptional performances from both Robles and LAFC newcomer Kenneth Vermeer. Vermeer is an Ajax academy and club alum, and appears to be the new starting keeper for LAFC. The home side as a whole looked more creative and less predictable than previous seasons, with the added Uruguayan flair of center mid Francisco Ginella, in addition to his fellow countrymen Brian Rodriguez and Diego Rossi.
Other notable appearances included defender Dejan Jakovic, previously on loan to Las Vegas Lights, and Lee Nguyen, now facing his previous club after being picked up by Inter Miami during the 2019 MLS Expansion Draft.