FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — In the wake of MLS suspending its season for 30 days due to concerns surrounding COVID-19 (coronavirus), Inter Miami CF owner Jorge Mas and Sporting Director Paul McDonough shared their perspective on the enforced delay of their home opener at the new Inter Miami CF stadium in Fort Lauderdale.
"We think it is a prudent decision by the league," Mas told reporters on Tuesday. "Obviously, we want to protect our players and protect our fans as much as possible. We look with optimism that we can continue building anticipation here in South Florida for our team and our home opener at a date to be determined.”
While many would understand a feeling of frustration at the delay of a day that had been years in the making, Mas has his own philosophy in navigating such scenarios.
“Those of you that know me, know that I don’t have any ‘Why me?’ moments," he said. "Everything in our journey that has happened, especially since I have been involved, has happened for a reason. I look at this as just another bump in the road. We are pedal to the metal.
"It gives us an opportunity to continue to build anticipation, our brand, marketing and fan experience. I think what we have been able to accomplish here in eight months is frankly amazing. I’m taken aback by it. So we’re going to move forward. It is what it is. We’ll make the best of it."
Mas’ outlook was shared by McDonough, who added a silver lining from a sporting perspective.
“We got to get back to work," he said. "We don’t like it but for us, being an expansion team, a little extra training is not the worst thing in the world. This is where we are."
Inter Miami tasted narrow defeats in its opening two road matches of its inaugural season, going down 1-0 to Supporters' Shield holders LAFC and 2-1 to D.C. United last week. Mas, though, believes the team could be stronger by the time play restarts.
Rookie striker Robinson, the No. 1 pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft, was subbed off the field in last week’s game against D.C. United after going down with an injury late in the first half. Meanwhile, striker Carranza, a hotly tipped new arrival from Argentina, suffered an injury during Miami’s preseason that was expected to keep him out for two months.
"We’ll just put our head down and get back to work," added McDonough.