“That was crazy. I had no idea that was happening. My coach came out with the iPad and David Beckham was on the screen and I was like, ‘What is this?’ I couldn’t hear and then I was like, ‘Wow, I’m talking to a guy I’ve been watching my whole life.’ It was a crazy experience and I’ll remember it my whole life and can’t wait to start working for all of them.”
Robbie Robinson, Inter Miami’s first-overall pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft, expressed that sentiment of shock to the Miami Herald after being surprised with a call from Club owner David Beckham.
Both Robinson, the Hermann Trophy-winning 21-year-old forward out of Clemson University, and Dylan Nealis, the 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s College Cup champion, subsequently joined the United States of Soccer show on SiriusXM FC to share their thoughts on being selected by Inter Miami.
“It felt great,” said Robinson. “I’ve been working my whole life to get to a position where I can join a team that is as good as Inter Miami will be. We have a great future ahead and I love where it’s starting at. I can’t wait to be a part of it.”
“I’m obviously going to have to work very hard, [Paul McDonough’s] been telling me that. I think the expectations for myself and everyone coming into preseason is working hard and then taking it from there. That’s what I’m planning on doing.”
Nealis is the youngest of four brothers, two of whom have MLS experience. His oldest brother Jimmy was drafted by the Houston Dynamo in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft while his other brother Sean was selected by the New York Red Bulls in the 2019 SuperDraft.
He joined the United States of Soccer show to reflect on being drafted by Inter Miami and joining the league his brothers have played in.
“I’ve been dreaming of this day since I was a little kid. I remember sitting on my couch watching my brother [Jimmy] get drafted and then last year Sean getting drafted by Red Bulls. I couldn’t be happier, especially to fall to a great team in Inter Miami. I’m very excited to head down there. It’s a dream come true today and I’m glad I had my family and friends here to witness it.”
When asked what his brothers have told him about MLS he said, “I think the biggest thing they’ve told me is to be strong mentally. It is a mental level where everyone’s good. Staying strong mentally and knowing you may have a bad day but not to let it affect you.”
Nealis was also asked about what it means to him to be selected by Inter Miami and surrounded by successful MLS veterans like A.J. DeLaGarza and Román Torres.
“What an honor to be playing with those guys. I think once I get down there, I’m going to try to take everything in, be like a sponge, just soak everything in. Those guys have been through it all on an MLS level and an international level which is huge. I think taking advice from those guys is going to be important to start my career.”