All Access Soccer

HEY MLS….HERE COMES MIAMI

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MLS Soccer
Arielle Castillo
Senior Editor

MIAMI – It was, probably, the reggaeton remix of the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe,” making surfaces vibrate with its club-level decibels, that tied everything together on Monday afternoon at the Knight Concert Hall at downtown Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center. The big deal? Another announcement from the David Beckham-fronted ownership group pursuing MLS expansion in Miami. The vibe? Gleefully over-the-top, the soundtrack and sights a mix of urban Latin culture with a nod to Europe. Phone cameras snapped and supporters for the still-to-come-team randomly broke out into chants – it was all so willfully extra, just like the city hosting the event.

Ah, Miami, my hometown – it managed to welcome everyone with two separate deluges of rain in the morning before the event, lasting, of course, only about 15 minutes each before sunshine gave way. That temporary threat didn’t stop the Southern Legion supporter’s group from their scheduled march to the venue from further downtown. And once the sun came out – making things a balmy, humid 78 degrees in late January – the proceedings got flashily underway.

Women dancing in Carnaval outfits? Check. A pre-event audio trip through the collected Pitbull-remix oeuvre? Check. Celebrities dotting the VIP reserved rows in front? Check. Confetti guns sprayed liberally indoors? Check. A city mayor offering arcane banter onstage about local Catholic schools, understood only by very longtime locals raised west of the I-95 corridor? Check.
There was plenty to celebrate on Monday in Miami. | Red Eye Productions / Major League Soccer

All of this marked another punctuation mark in the long process of David Beckham’s “dream,” as he described it, in bringing MLS to Miami. Details on the crest, colors, name, and pretty much everything else are still forthcoming – but Miami loves a party for basically any reason. (No, really – during one Art Basel, I attended a private-club party for a water bottle; crab legs were served.) Life is short! Celebrate!

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