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Fuel Soccer: Inter Miami signs Argentinian teenagers; MLS All-Star super guide; MLS news & Notes

David Beckham’s Inter Miami signs first two players for 2020 season

Inter Miami have made their first signings as David Beckham’s club nears its first season in the MLS in 2020. Argentinian teenagers Matias Pellegrini and Julian Carranza, both 19, have signed for the club from Estudiantes and Banfield respectively.

Beckham, the former Manchester United star, owns the expansion club alongside businessman Marcelo Claure, Jorge and Jose Mas and Masayoshi Son.

Pellegrini, an attacking left winger, plays for Argentine club Estudiantes and was in Miami on Monday meeting with Inter Miami officials and undergoing a physical exam. The two sides finalized his contract, reported by Argentine media to be worth $10 million. He agreed to join the team in January 2020 and will remain on loan with Estudiantes until then.

Pellegrini, who is 5-9 and 146 pounds., turned 19 in March and has been a standout in Argentina’s youth program. He has played for the U17 and U20 national teams, scored three goals and had one assist in 15 matches for Estudiantes this season, and played two games in the Copa Libertadores. He made his debut with Estudiantes in August 2018.

MLS All-Star: Your ultimate guide to the city of Orlando

The 2019 MLS All Star Game presented by Target is in Orlando and you want to know what it’s all about. Well, it’s obviously about sports.

Orlando has recently played host to each of the NFL Pro Bowl, college football’s Citrus Bowl, the NCAA’s March Madness, and golf’s annual Arnold Palmer Invitational. And it’s also hosted the Monster Jam World Finals, and WWE’s WrestleMania and is home to the US Tennis Association.

It’s also about high-profile soccer. Camping World Stadium and Orlando City’s Exploria Stadium – home of Wednesday night’s game – have staged major games for the US men’s and women’s national teams, as well as five World Cup games in 1994, Olympic soccer in 1996, Copa America in 2016 and the International Champions Cup in 2017.

There was also the little matter of an MLS All Star Game at the Citrus Bowl in 1998, when an MLS USA team including Alexi Lalas, Tab Ramos, Cobi Jones and Tony Meola beat an MLS World XI featuring Marco Etcheverry, Carlos Valderrama, Jorge Campos and Mo Johnston 6-1 in front of almost 35,000 fans. Twenty-one years ago.

So, if you were wondering “Why Orlando?” that should be more than enough to punch the city’s credentials as a bona fide Big Game Sporting Capital.

But the All-Star Game is not all about what happens on the playing field. In fact, a city’s rep as a legit host often has more to do with what happens OUTSIDE the lines than between them.

In which case, welcome to the ideal city for a well-rounded, all-out party occasion. From great bars to memorable dining, Orlando offers a genuine adventure in just about everything that goes into A Good Time Had By All.

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

MLS News & Notes from around the league

Portland 4, LAFC 0: Portland are 4-0-2 across their last six games, but what’s even more impressive is this came without Diego Chara (suspension). This was the Timbers’ first win entirely without the Colombian midfielder since a July 5, 2015 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes. For LA, the loss is bad enough after rolling past rivals LAFC 3-2 in last week’s El Trafico. But they’re now up against it for next week’s marquee trip to Atlanta United, with Efrain Alavarez (red card) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (yellow-card accumulation) both out, as well as Diego Polenta (red card).  – Jonathan Sigal 

Columbus Crew 3, New York Red Bulls 2: Columbus Crew SC knocked off the New York Red Bulls at what’s usually their Red Bull Arena fortress on Saturday, paced by an opportunistic brace from Pedro SantosThis was the first home loss for RBNY since May 8, and just the second road win of the year for the Crew, the first coming way back on March 9 at New England. It’s too soon to know whether this result portends trouble for the Red Bulls or a rebirth for Columbus, but the Crew’s summer roster overhaul seems to be bearing fruit.– Charles Boehm

New England Revolution 4, Orlando City SC 1: The New England Revolution extended their unbeaten streak to 11 games and cemented their playoff credentials with a comprehensive 4-1 win over Orlando City SC. The Revs extended their unbeaten streak — matching a club record — and put themselves squarely in the middle of the tight pack of teams jockeying for position in the East. Still, head coach Bruce Arena was left wanting more from his side ahead of next week’s showdown with Supporters’ Shield-leading LAFC. Orlando, meanwhile, find themselves increasingly adrift and could be seven points out of a playoff spot depending on other results. – Nick Rosano

For more excellent coverage of this weekend’s MLS action  

LET’S TALK: OK, now you’ve read what’s on my mind…what are your thoughts on the above or any other “football” happenings?

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