DEFEAT BUT ENCOURAGEMENT FOR BECKHAM AND FRIENDS

FROM STEVE BRENNER AT THE BANC OF CALIFORNIA STADIUM

It went, for the most part, as expected. Inter Miami owner David Beckham looked resplendent in a dashing Ralph Lauren suit with a club crest taking pride of place on his blazer.

The former England captain’s wife Victoria and son Brooklyn arrived to offer moral support while celebrity chef, and, lest you forget, former player Gordon Ramsay also appeared in the posh seats. Whether he was cheering on Major League Soccer’s latest team or serving up some post-match roast chicken was unclear.

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LIFT OFF FOR INTER MIAMI AND THEIR CELEBRATED LEADER

 

The Inter Miami squad's been assembled at a rapid speed and have spent two months together

STEVE BRENNER IN LA

And so, finally, David Beckham’s moment has arrived.

Here in the City of Angels, the former England captain will be in a private version of footballing heaven as his Inter Miami Major League Soccer expansion team roll out for their first competitive match.

Last season’s high-fliers Los Angeles FC are the opponents – and it could be a chastening afternoon for the MLS new-boys.

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BECKHAM’S TIME FINALLY ARRIVES

FROM STEVE BRENNER IN LOS ANGELES

When David Beckham’s Inter Miami take to the field at the Banc of California stadium on Sunday night, six arduous years of crippling uncertainty?will melt away.

The former England captain never thought it would be like this, yet the Miami political landscape is far trickier to beat than a well positioned defensive wall with a curling free-kick, something the 44-year-old did so wonderfully during his stellar playing days.

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HALF FOOTBALLER, HALF TENNIS ORGANIZER

 

FROM STEVE BRENNER IN NEW YORK

GERARD PIQUE admitted he had to cheekily trick Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde to launch his business career – and used Sir Alex Ferguson for inspiration.

The Spanish defender, 32, is part of the business transforming tennis’ Davis Cup this year and had to go to Florida for a crucial vote last summer.

But in order to get to Orlando, he had to try and convince his manager to let him go – despite the new season getting underway.

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NADAL SURVIVES MEDVEDEV SCARE

FROM STEVE BRENNER IN NEW YORK

RAFA NADAL edged closer to Roger Federer’s Grand Slam record tally – but not before brilliant Daniil Medvedev gave him one hell of fright.

The super Spaniard eventually saw off tricky Russian Medvedev 7-5, 6-3, 5-7 4-6, 6-2 to bag his 19th major – and fourth US Open crown –? to move just one behind Fed in the race to become the most successful player in history.

Yet an astonishing, drama packed ending saw an initially predictable final amazingly spark into life.

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SERENA SUFFERS MORE FINAL PAIN

FROM STEVE BRENNER IN NEW YORK

SERENA WILLIAMS suffered another US Open final nightmare last night.

The American superstar, cheered on by Meghan Markle who jetted into the Big Apple to cheer on her pal, didn’t lose the plot like she did 12 months ago after Naomi Osaka and the officials drove her wild.

Instead, it was 19 year-old Bianca Andreescu, another brilliant star in the making, who was simply superior and bagged her first Grand Slam with a stunning 6-3, 7-5 triumph.

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IS THE US YOUTH SYSTEM BROKEN?

FROM STEVE BRENNER IN ORLANDO

Don Garber was utterly convinced Alex Morgan was wrong. While basking in the glory of another World Cup triumph, the US striker went on the offensive. She suggested the American soccer production line was in need of major repair, accusing US Soccer’s heavily criticized pay-to-play youth model of being “detrimental” to the future of the game.

Garber wasn’t impressed.

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