MIAMI, Fla. (January 29, 2020) —
Has it been two years already? Yes, indeed.
Two years ago today, I was gathered along with other VIPs at the Knight Concert Hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center in downtown Miami, to officially welcome David Beckham’s MLS franchise as the 25th to join Major League Soccer.
It was a memorable day, as David Beckham and Marcelo Claure were joined by their newest partners, Jorge and Jose Mas, along with Commissioner Don Garber, Miami mayor Francis Suarez and Miami Dade County mayor Carlos Gimenez. David and Marcelo both recounted their story on how they met and began planning their dream to bring MLS to Miami — and how they almost gave up that dream against their will — until Jorge Mas was contacted by the league, and, after some weeks of thought, decided that he would get involved late in 2017. His talk that day was one for the record books. It was charismatic and inspiring. “This was a city built on dreams,” Jorge Mas said. “But Miami to me is personal. This is a cultural mosaic. We represent diversity. and this team will reflect the diversity of our city. We are fearless.”
“There was only one city, Beckham said. “And it was here. The diversity, the culture, the weather, the beaches and the people.” It was very difficult at times, he recounted, when he thought that the dream was too big. “But I don’t give up.”
The first supporters group of Inter Miami, Southern Legion, was present, and let their voices be heard. At one point, (minute 26 in the above video) Marcelo looked up at the group and recounted how one of the reasons he didn’t give up was the daily messages from the group that “Miami Is Ready.” He said he wouldn’t have known what to say to the group if he quit. There were days, Marcelo said, that it “seemed impossible.”
Today, to celebrate this milestone, the club released a special commemorative video. The video runs backwards in time, from recent developments like the formal presentation of head coach Diego Alonso last week, to the first player signing, Julián Carranza, and back to January 29, 2018 at the Knight Center.
Much has happened since then. A team name and brand, a new academy, the first signings, building a front office, moving the stadium plans along. With the first season fast approaching on March 1, 2020, what seemed impossible at times is very much a reality, and a lesson in not giving up on a dream.