We want to thank Marcelo Claure for taking time out of his busy schedule to respond to the questions posted by La Academia about a potential MLS franchise bid to bring a team to South Florida.
Below is the entire interview, note that (MC) = Marcelo Claure, and (LA) = La Academia.
(MC) Before answering questions, I just wanted to say I really like the new name of the fan club – La Academia. My team in Bolivia, Bolivar, is also known as La Academia so the name had an immediate impact on me.
(LA) Success in MLS is now associated with a strong connection between fans and their team, if you were to bid for a franchise, how do you plan to foster that connection? (MC) Julio and La Academia, as we continue working to bring MLS to South Florida, we will build connections with fans through Q&As like this, organized soccer viewing events, and many other grassroots efforts. We will absolutely want to work with La Academia on these efforts.
(LA) If you move forward with a bid, would you consider using the Miami Fusion FC name or would you prefer a team with a new identity? (MC) Depending on what the ultimate ownership looks like, we would evaluate the Miami Fusion FC name as well as other options. We want a name that the local fans can completely embrace and own.
(LA) What is your opinion on Designated Players, if a team is awarded would you try to bring any DP's? (MC) I like the option of bringing designated players. If we feel a particular player can add significant value to the team, we will definitely consider bringing that player as a designated player.
(LA) What is your vision for professional soccer in South Florida? (MC) To have a major league soccer team that is extremely competitive in the league and a force to be reckoned with regionally. It is very important that this team is embraced, loved, and supported by all South Floridians.
(LA) Will a MLS Miami bid will it come complete with a plan for a Soccer Specific Stadium? (MC) The fact that we have access to a great stadium like FIU is an advantage for any South Florida MLS bid, but I think the dream and long-term plan for any major league soccer team is to have a soccer specific stadium and we are no different.
(LA) Is FIU stadium still a good temporary stadium option. (MC) As mentioned in the prior question, the FIU stadium option is a great one. The MLS has already visited and assessed so while we would have to make some modifications, the FIU stadium would allow us to have a team up and ready to play very quickly.
(LA) Have you thought of partnering up with any local celebrities or companies? (MC) Yes. We are always considering options that will contribute positively to the team.
(LA) How important is for Miami to get good attendance numbers at the Gold Cup and FC Barcelona v Chivas games for our chances to get MLS. (MC) Very important. We need to make a very strong showing to Garber and the MLS.
(LA) A few words on the efforts the fans are doing to get attention for MLS in Miami. (MC) The fans have done an amazing job attracting the attention of MLS and the leadership there and in rallying support for MLS in South Florida. This is a marathon that starts with the bid process, but then really needs to get stronger and stronger every day as we hopefully get a team, launch a team, and as we operate continuously as a MLS team. Thank you so much for your ongoing commitment and hope to have some good news to share this year.