With a roster featuring a mix of MLS veterans, young South American talent and the blockbuster signing Rodolfo Pizarro, Inter Miami entered the first match of their MLS history with plenty of intrigue surrounding them.
Certainly, a hard-fought 1-0 away loss to LAFC was just the first step of Miami discovering their identity. But there were a few obvious themes. Here's three things we learned.
Miami won't beat themselves very often
For all the hype over the attacking additions who are already on the roster and a few that might yet be coming, Miami's personnel staff have done well to construct a back six that won't very often snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Nicolas Figal and Ben Sweat did pretty well in limiting Carlos Vela (aside from his game-deciding moment of brilliance). At age 35, goalkeeper Luis Robles looks capable of several more productive MLS seasons, even if he was momentarily wrong-footed by Vela's greatness. Wil Trapp and Victor Ulloa struggled at times to influence the game in central midfield, but many would against opposition of LAFC's caliber.
They might need more help up front
With projected starting forward Julian Carranza out with a foot injury possibly until May, Miami might need to search for a better backup striking option if they are going to play a 4-2-3-1.
Several times, particularly in the first half, the visitors seemed to be putting the ball in dangerous spots only to be lacking a poacher's final touch. Juan Agudelo doesn't really fit that profile, while Jerome Kiesewetter and Robbie Robinson face a steep learning curve. It is easy to see why Miami have made it clear that they intend to use their one remaining Designated Player spot on a striker, even if it has to wait for the summer.
Their fans are going to bring it
Shout out to our supporters and fans in LA who waited for our team bus to arrive from practice. And how about our #InterMiamiCF players and captain joining the celebration. The journey begins tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/tLlmXJqS9p— Jorge Mas (@Jorge__Mas) March 1, 2020
The old Miami Fusion played some of the most stylish soccer of early MLS, but struggled to catch the locals' imagination. Fast forward almost two decades and it doesn't feel like that will be a problem this time around. Even on the other coast, there was a sizable presence of away support around Banc of California Stadium. And the celebrity names in owner David Beckham's box, including actor Liv Tyler, would make almost any red carpet in Hollywood jealous.