Former England football star David Beckham's MLS expansion club, Inter Miami, announced its first two player signings on Friday, 19-year-old Argentine players Matias Pellegrini from Estudiantes and Julian Carranza from Banfield.
Pellegrini, a left wing, was dubbed "El Primero" in a tweet welcoming him to the club while forward Carranza will join him on the attack when the team takes the field next year.
Inter Miami will keep Pellegrini with Superliga Argentina side Estudiantes de La Plata through January 2020 until he joins the US squad on a transfer. Carranza will remain on loan at Banfield until January 2020 before he joins Inter Miami on a transfer.
"It's important for us that we found young, exciting attacking players that are on the upside of their career and have the potential to be really good players in this league," Inter Miami sporting director Paul McDonough said. "We will continue to build and add quality players that are the right fit for our club. We started with youth, but we know it's also important to have veteran players who come from both overseas and within the league to balance out the roster over time."
Pellegrini debuted for the La Plata side last year and has scored three goals in 15 matches. He made two Copa Libertadores appearances and has played on Argentina's under-20 and under-17 national squads.
Carranza, who moved to Buenos Aires at 13 to join Banfield's academy, is in his second season with 10 goals in 30 matches.
"Both Julian and Matias showed us they really wanted to take the next step of their career with Inter Miami," McDonough said. "We liked that Pellegrini can play inside and out wide, has very good aerobic capacity and can cover a lot of ground, while Julian is a very grounded player with an impressive work rate. He's the player that strives to score goals and is very good in the box."
Beckham, 44, is Inter Miami's president. He retired in 2013 after a 20-year career, but part of the MLS contract he signed in 2007 to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy included the chance to buy a future MLS expansion club at a discount.
Beckham utilised his option in 2014 to purchase an MLS club for US$ 25 million and planned it for Miami but struggled to find a suitable stadium site and it was not until January 2018 that MLS approved the team for Beckham, its colours, name and logo being revealed last September.