Gonzalo Higuain’s Inter Miami CF debut — a 3-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union on Sunday at Subaru Park — wasn’t how he wanted his first game in Major League Soccer to go.
But the Argentine striker will have another shot at making a strong first impression Saturday, this time at Inter Miami CF Stadium versus New York City FC (6-6-2, 20 points) in his first home game with the team since signing with the club two weeks ago.
“I’m very happy to be able to make my debut,” Higuain said during a teleconference with reporters Thursday afternoon, which was his first availability with the media since signing with the club. “Not very happy with the result, obviously. This is a new team that’s building. The important thing is we learn from our mistakes. On Saturday, we have another opportunity to show that we’ve improved.”
Higuain is Inter Miami’s latest signing who’s expected to help accelerate the improvements on the field after their rough start (3-9-2, 11 points) to the season.
The former Juventus striker entered MLS as one of the most successful and best players in the league — and EA Sports' FIFA 21 seems to agree by having him tied for the highest rating (83) in the game with Inter Miami teammate Blaise Matuidi and Los Angeles FC’s Carlos Vela.
Higuain scored nearly 300 goals across 600 total appearances with River Plate, Real Madrid, Napoli and Juventus from 2004-20.
A move to MLS appealed to Higuain once it was clear he wasn’t in Juventus' future plans after playing for the Italian club for three seasons.
“I’ve had some time to think about this decision,” Higuain said. “I’ve seen that many strikers have come here, enjoyed great experiences and have scored many goals. That attracted me.”
Thierry Henry — who currently coaches Montreal Impact — Robbie Keane and David Villa are just a few other strikers who experienced high levels of success in MLS after having successful playing for European clubs.
Higuain said he’s been following MLS for a while because of his brother, Federico Higuain — who currently plays for D.C. United after playing for Columbus Crew SC from 2012-19.
The conversations between the two helped him gained familiarity with the league before even signing with Inter Miami, but it was the expectations of the club — which include being MLS’s global team — that caught the attention of the 32-year-old forward.
“I’ve talked to my brother for a long time about the league, but not because I was going to come to this league,” Higuain said. “It was because we were talking about soccer where we were playing and we just shared our opinions on the respective leads. What really pushed me to come here was the ambition of this great project. I think we have a great base to achieve many goals.”
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