David Beckham’s Inter Miami selected US collegiate leading goalscorer Robbie Robinson with the first pick in Thursday’s Major League Soccer SuperDraft — and Beckham even called to congratulate him.
The 21-year-old American scored 18 goals and set up nine others in 19 matches for Clemson University, which lost to Stanford in the national tournament quarter-finals.
Retired English football star Beckham, president of the Inter Miami expansion team that will debut March 1 at Los Angeles FC, praised the striker in a video chat after the selection.
“Welcome to Miami,” Beckham said. “It’s a very exciting year for us. You had a great season. It was a joy to watch. We’re very excited for you to bring your skills to our city.
“We’re excited about you being able to contribute to the team and develop as a player and we’re excited to have you in our club.”
Inter also chose right-back Dylan Nealis of US college champion Georgetown with the number three overall selection.
Beckham’s long-delayed MLS expansion club, obtained as part of the deal which saw him play for the Los Angeles Galaxy from 2007-2012, will kick off in Fort Lauderdale with plans to open a new stadium in Miami for the 2022 campaign.
Inter Miami’s first home game is set for March 14 against Beckham’s former club, the Galaxy.
Argentine teen Julian Carranza is expected to secure a forward spot with Colombian-born American Juan Agudelo and German-born US national team forward Jerome Kiesewetter likely to line up down the wings.