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The Europeans are coming, send them home with something to think about

Photo: Brent Flanders

The football season is over for the European teams, and they are now planning their assaults on their relevant leagues next season.

Part of that planning involves pre-season friendly matches against opposition which will give them a good game, and also add the chance for some additional marketing opportunities at the same time.

This year a whole host of European clubs are off to the USA to play against teams from various US leagues.

From Great Britain there are clubs such as Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Aston Villa, Fulham and Swansea.

That is nearly 50% of the current EPL clubs set to make the trip stateside this summer.

To emphasise the current view of MLS, it is Arsenal who are perhaps showing their hand more than any other. The Gunners are coming for just one game in a friendly against their former club legend, Thierry Henry, and his NY Red Bulls side.

This is the only pre-season friendly they are playing outside Europe, so it must be thought of great benefit to the club to warrant the effort involved.

(Photo: Thierry Henry can’t wait to face his former side this summer)

Other European clubs making the trip across the pond are giants such as Real Madrid, Inter Milan, AS Roma, AS Monaco, Atletico Madrid and Olympiacos.

These clubs are not heading across for the benefit of their health; they are looking at potential opportunities for future growth and expansion. They are most likely aware MLS is on the up and now is a good time to for a US tour to get your brand name into the hearts and minds of American soccer fans.

The English Premier League is already popular in the US and it certainly won’t hurt to get your club to the front of the shop window.

But lets not think the relatively young Major League Soccer is naive. This trip works both ways and MLS is not going to be shy in coming forward.

MLS clubs such as Seattle Sounders, Toronto FC, Columbus Crew, Philadelphia Union, LA Galaxy, New York Red Bulls, San Jose Earthquakes and Chicago Fire will be hosting these teams and promoting the fastest growing league in the world, to some of the sports biggest teams.

With the huge array of talent amongst the visiting teams, it will certainly get public attention from both sides of the Atlantic. The European audience will be eager for the new season to start and to forget their possible World Cup disappointments.

While the American fans will be looking to see how the improving US teams now compare to the European old guard.

(Photo: Cristiano Ronaldo and his Real Madrid team is one of many giant clubs heading to the US this summer)

Sport is of course synonymous today with business, and all of these clubs involved will be looking to increase revenue as a result of the tour.

The biggest winner to come out of this though should be MLS.

The European fans will be keen to watch their own team and also the other Euro opposition in early action. In doing so they will get a ringside seat of what is currently on offer from MLS and all being well, MLS will benefit most from the venture.

This is another giant stride in the right direction for Major League Soccer, and interest from across the pond should increase dramatically as a result.

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About Simon Pyne (6 Articles)
I am one of the founders of MLSGB, our aim is to bring the appeal of Major League Soccer to British fans and also to give our American cousins a British perspective of the beautiful game.

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