Miami, FL (Saturday, February 2, 2019)
Third supporters’ group emerges in the most bizarre fashion.
In a pure sign of increasing enthusiasm and interest in the run up to Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami’s (Inter Miami CF) inaugural season in 2020, the community of supporters’ groups has now grown to three.
This after several members of the original supporters’ group Southern Legion / La Legion del Sur, split away from the established organisation to form a new one. It appears that this new splinter group is also furthering confusion amongst Miami soccer fans by alleging that they in fact are the Southern Legion, rather than calling themselves a newly formed group. A press release to this effect was even issued on the new group’s website. The group, calling themselves the Siege, reportedly has assumed control over the real Southern Legion’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, renaming those accounts to reflect the branding of the new group.
A look at the Southern Legion twitter account suggests that the breakaway group was the result of collusion between at least two Legion members.
On Friday, the Board of Directors of the real Southern Legion / Legion del Sur, took to Twitter to defend the group’s brand and clear up the confusion:
What we do know is that Southern Legion / Legion del Sur traces its origins to 2008, around the time the mighty FC Barcelona was looking to enter into a partnership to bring a Barça branded club to MLS in Miami.
Ever since then, the Legion, as they are called for short, has been a driving force to increase awareness and support for soccer in Miami, and an MLS club in Vice City, in particular.
They have been seen at events including soccer matches, lower division team games, political rallies and countless city and county hearings. Their scarves and shirts have traveled the globe.
So instrumental was the Legion to the efforts of David Beckham, Marcelo Claure, and new investors Jorge and Jose Mas to finally land Inter Miami, that they were given preferred seating at the official announcement of the team back in January 29, 2018 and were singled out by Marcelo Claure in his speech that day at the Knight Concert Hall.
While details are scarce, it seems readily apparent that some inner circle members of Southern Legion felt that a name change and brand was a way to stake a claim to being the “official” supporters group for Inter Miami CF. As the months went by after the official birth of the team, a second supporters’ group, Vice City 1896, emerged. With two strong groups in place, any notion that there would be only one supporters’ group, let alone an “official” one, was neither realistic nor practical. In such an environment, there should be intrinsic value in having an established brand.
What can be confirmed at present is that Inter Miami CF now has three supporters’ groups. And Southern Legion / Legion del Sur is definitely one of them:
Of course, having multiple supporters’ groups is anything but a bad sign. Within Major League Soccer, most, if not all of the clubs, have more than one such group. It is also common place in Europe and South America. In a place as diverse as Miami, multiple groups only seems natural. The next step will be to harness this passion into creating an unparalleled game day atmosphere.