As Inter Miami CF kicks off its first game this afternoon, I’ve been doing some thinking. I wasn’t always a fan of soccer. In fact, I spent most of my adolescence harboring a strong dislike of the sport. Soccer was boring, no one ever scored, it was for other countries and not the United States.
Obviously, if you’ve read this website or listened to our podcast, you know that opinion has changed radically. It was a process that started in my hometown of Baltimore, but took hold in Miami. I learned to appreciate, then love, The Beautiful Game.
By the time my appreciation of soccer took hold, around 2008, I was driving to pubs on Miami Beach or Oakland Park to watch my club team, Liverpool. And I was also aware of a plan by F.C. Barcelona and Marcelo Claure to bring Major League Soccer to Miami. My first thought was: “Yeah, why the hell doesn’t Miami have MLS already?” My second thought was: “Awesome!”
My first thought was answered when I researched and discovered there had been a Miami team, and that it had been contracted after the 2001 season. My second thought was slowly killed off by the Great Recession and Barcelona’s abandonment of the project in 2009. It would be more than a decade before Major League Soccer would actually return.