Major League Soccer

Galaxy-Inter Miami Preview

Phil Neville has settled into life quickly at Inter Miami, as he prepares for his first MLS game in charge.

Miami kick-off their 2021 season at home against LA Galaxy - the former team of their president David Beckham - on Sunday.

They finished 10th in the Eastern Conference in their maiden season in MLS, but lost 3-0 to Nashville SC in the playoffs.

Neville was appointed as their new boss in the offseason, and the former Manchester United man revealed he already feels at home in Florida.

"It's just felt normal. You know when you feel at home, and every day feels like nothing really special, it just feels like home," he said.

"Every time I drive down the I-95, and come off at Commercial Boulevard, it just feels like I've been here all of my life. That's how quickly I've settled.

"I went to Spain and for six months, every time I phoned home, there were butterflies in my stomach because it takes you time to settle.

"The minute I landed in Miami, and came to the training facility, it's just felt like home and I think that's because of the people around the place.

"The players now are just about to dial it up, the big games are just around the corner, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, we just want the action to start."

The Galaxy also have a new coach, with Greg Vanney having joined from Toronto FC.

"We're as ready as we're going to get, we've had a lot of time now," Vanney said last week.

"We're still growing together as a group but that's part of it. It's still a work in progress but we're seeing a lot of positive things and now it's been able to do those positive things over 90 minutes, not just in flashes."

Inter Miami - Gonzalo Higuain

Gonzalo Higuain only managed one goal in MLS last season, but is no doubt Miami's star attacker and will be eager to get his sophomore campaign off to a flying start.

LA Galaxy - Jorge Villafana

The Galaxy acquired fullback Jorge Villafana from Portland over the offseason. Only New York City FC's Anton Tinnerholm (11) has recorded more assists than Villafana (nine) among defenders in the last two MLS seasons.

--Higuain scored his lone MLS goal last season on a direct free-kick after not scoring one in his career in the five major European leagues. Higuain scored 90.7% (215/237) of his league goals in the box during his time in Europe.

--The Galaxy finished last season on a five-match away losing streak, conceding 14 goals in those defeats. The Galaxy have managed just two clean sheets in their last 20 away matches dating back to mid-June 2019, allowing 49 goals in those matches (2.45 per match).

--Miami lost only two of its nine home matches last season (W5 D2), including going unbeaten in four straight to close the regular season (W3 D1).

--This will be the first meeting between Inter Miami and the Galaxy, but not LA's first trip to Miami. The Galaxy won three of their four away matches against the Miami Fusion (D1), with the teams combining to score 25 goals in the four games from 1998 to 2001 (6.25 goals per match).

--Miami will look to get off to a better start than they did last season, when it set an MLS record by losing the first five matches in club history.

Updated April 17, 2021