On the eve of the long-awaited launch of David Beckham’s Major League Soccer team in Miami, I can’t help but think back to July 8, 1997, when I traveled to New York City for the official launch of Miami’s first MLS team — the Miami Fusion.
That was nearly 21 years ago, the same year Harry Potter was published, Titanic was a box office hit, the Marlins won their first World Series and Princess Diana died.
The Fusion rollout took place in an 18th-floor ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Cobi Jones and Mark Chung, then MLS players and members of the U.S. national team, were special guests and modeled the newly unveiled Fusion T-shirts. The team name and logo was revealed that day — a futuristic blue and yellow oval with the word “Fusion” over a sunburst
“The name Fusion is explosive and powerful, and it symbolizes the unification of Miami’s multinational population,” team owner Ken Horowitz, the Palm Beach cellular phone mogul, said at the news conference. “It is a symbol that soccer fans of all nationalities will gather in Miami to see a dynamic team.”
Then-MLS commissioner Doug Logan added: “We want to build our fan base from all three counties, from Latin fans and youth groups. We’re going to reach as far north as North Palm Beach and Jupiter. We want to attract pockets of fans up and down the I-95 corridor. We see Miami as a complex market, similar to D.C., New York and L.A.”
The Miami Fusion celebrate a victory over the Kansas City Wizards in the first round playoff game at Lockhart Stadium in Ft.Lauderdale on September 22, 2001
JOE RIMKUS JR Miami Herald Staff
Logan complained about Miami politics slowing down the franchise startup: “It’s no coincidence that