[Special Note From The Editor] This posting marks the first time that we have featured a story on Major League Soccer (MLS) and it couldn’t have come at a more decisive time for us. For most of our coverage through the years, we honestly have not kept up with one of the world’s most popular sports, but these current and trying times have changed fandom’s thinking on how we can best learn to enjoy sports while not actually participating in-person. This occasion also marks our return to producing new and interesting content for you, our loyal viewers and followers. We hope you enjoy our production of Game #1 of the “MLS Is Back” Tournament. We will be following many teams during the tournament, but especially both of our local teams, the L.A.Galaxy and the LAFC. Let’s get started!! -Rico Cabrera, Sr./Publisher.
(East Los Angeles, CA)—East L. A. Sports Scene Productions is pleased to announce that we have begun coverage of the long-awaited re-start of our Professional Teams’ and Sports’ seasons beginning this week with the “MLS Is Back” Tournament. Look for our inaugural soccer coverage that will be provided on a weekly basis by our second year Student-Intern from Cal State University Dominguez Hills, Javier Pérez.
Finally, on July 8th, and in light of these very troubling times of the Coronavirus pandemic and amid a powerful, but hopeful change for greater police reform, social justice, and equality in our nation and the world, the Games have begun!!!
First up in this hypothetical U.S. Pro Sports All-Star Game, was Major League Soccer (MLS). In using a comparison of sorts, they stepped up to the plate and hit a “lead-off “ home run as they displayed to the entire sports-loving Futbol/Soccer world that their “MLS is Black“ at the unveiling of their first match between Orlando City and Inter Miami. This slogan directly, and overwhelmingly supports the efforts of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) nationwide solidarity movement and coalition that has also spread seamlessly into the sports world at all levels.
Correspondent’s Game Recap: After four very long months of quarantine and in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Major League Soccer returned in its first-ever MLS is Back tournament hosted in Orlando, Florida, where the NBA is also set to play the remainder of their season as well.
The inaugural match could not get any better than with the new derby being held in Florida. As a result of this timing and scheduling, David Beckham’s Inter Miami FC, as one of the newest MLS expansion teams, couldn’t have asked for the stage to be set any better than by matching up with Orlando City SC.
Before the game, both teams joined in an on-the-field demonstration to allow 8 minutes of silence while more than 100 of the League’s Black players raised their fists in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement and with those who have fallen victim to police brutality.
Orlando City came out with a 4-2-3-1 lineup showing Antonio Carlos who was accompanied by Robin Jansson as centre backs and Ruan, along with young Joao Moutinho as fullbacks. Junior Urso and Oriol Rosell filled in the center defensive midfield positions while Chris Mueller, Mauricio Pereira, and Portugese superstar, Luis Nani, assisted their lone striker Dominic Dwyer.
Inter Miami opted for a 5-4-1 lineup with Luis Robles on goal and 3 center backs, Ben Sweat, Andres Reyes, and Jorge Figal accompanied by Mikey Ambrose and Dylan Nealiz on the wings. Miami used a 4 man midfield strategy with Matias Pellegrini, Will Trapp, Victor Ulloa, and Lewis Morgan playing attacking roles to aid lone striker Juan Agduelo up top. Surprisingly, Mexican star Rodolfo Pizarro was held back from starting and watched his team from the bench.
The first half of the match was very tight as both clubs were seeking a first-half goal, while at the same time, hoping not to concede one. Although it was tense, the first period saw a numerous amount of fouls with Joao Moutinho and Ben Sweat receiving Yellow Cards, which were whistled in only one minute apart.
Miami started the second half on a strong foot and scored in the very first minute of the second half as Victor Ulloa sent a pass to Juan Agudelo who beat the goalkeeper with a scorching bottom left shot into the net.
As the half progressed, the opponents began to escalate the frequency and intensity of their attacks and in the 69th minute, Chris Mueller aimed a direct foot-shot squarely into the bottom right corner, equalizing the game at a goal apiece. Orlando’s persistence paid off when Nani scored a stoppage-time goal to give his team the (2-1) win for the highly memorable and powerful “MLS Is Back” tournament opener. Orlando now faces New York City FC on Tuesday, July 14th at 7:30 pm (PDT) and Miami moves on to face the Chicago Fire on the same day at 6:00 am (PDT).
Local Teams Up Next: LAFC has their opening match vs. the Houston Dynamo on Monday, 7/13 at 5 pm, while the L.A. Galaxy’s first match is also set for this Monday at 7:30 pm against the Portland Timbers.
Close Watch On COVID: There will definitely be a keen eye placed on the testing of all players, support staff, family members, Team Executive, and Administrative staff who are part of their team’s entourage at the Tournament. FC Dallas and Nashville SC have dropped out of the tournament due to the infection.
About Our Correspondent: Javier Pérez is a Film, TV and Media Major with a Minor in Photography at Cal State University Dominguez Hills. He is a 2018 graduate of Marquez High School, located in Huntington Park, CA, and earned varsity letters in both Football and Soccer. Javier is now going into his Junior year at CSUDH.