The San Francisco Deltas are the newest hope of an NASL currently reeling from the loss of three teams in a year. The second-division North American club operates out of San Francisco, is operated by a Colombian (Brian Andrés Helmick), managed by a Brazilian, and will be coached by a Canadian who grew up in Portugal and speaks four languages. Definitely a very international feel to a club that has yet to sign a player.
So, perhaps it’s appropriate that the pivotal moment that nudged their CEO to begin work with the club happened in another country with a star of the world’s game.
“We were still in the ‘should we do this or not’ and my Colombian grandfather, he and I were really, really close,” said Helmick who told TICCPod of a promise he made his grandfather agree to.
“When you die and you get to heaven, I want you to kick out my guardian angel and I want you to replace him.”
A few years later, his grandfather had passed away and Helmick assumed he had taken the job.
“Three years ago, I’m in Colombia with my then-girlfriend, now wife on vacation,” he went on, mentioning he was still at his last job and weighing whether or not he should move forwards with his soccer plans.”I’m sitting there in the airport and it’s like first week of July of 2015. And I pray to him was the way I’m talking to you guys right now. I’m like ‘Man, should I do this, should I not?’“And as I say that, literally James Rodriguez and his wife and a police officer walk right in front of me. Right in front of me. It’s like 11:30 at night and they had just been eliminated from Copa América last year. He was flying back to Bogotá, kinda just working his way back to Spain.”
Between the timing of the encounter and the nature of his grandfather’s post-earthly employment, only one conclusion could be reached.
“Holy crap. If that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is,” shared Helmick. “And there’s a moment there where I’m like, alright, if it weren’t for James Rodriguez literally walking in front of me, like there should be some sign that this is meant to be, a little sign from my abuelito.”
Helmick only had respect for the captain of Los Cafeteros who he said not only spoke with him, but showed humility and respect, taking photos and selfies with multitudes of fans who approached him.
While the elimination was rough for Colombian soccer fans, sounds like Bay Area fans should be grateful for the chance encounter between a star of the world’s game and the man who is helping lead the charge to bring San Francisco into the world of professional soccer.
You can listen to the interview here.