By now I’m sure you’ve heard that the New York Red Bulls have built a state-of-the-art stadium in New Jersey, which you may have guessed is featuring some crazy ass shit.
Now, world renown and current Barcelona FC striker Thierry Henry is reportedly signing with the Red Bulls of the MLS, which will undoubtedly fill seats. I, Captain Warbucks, lover of all things futbol, will be attending a game once he’s in uniform. There’s been speculation about this for a year now, and it appears to be happening, since Barcelona just signed David Villa.
What does this mean for the MLS? There’s no way it backfires, Henry can still play and although 31 is a bit old for a striker, he’ll be playing against MLS competition, not Real Madrid and Valencia. The David Beckham experiment in Los Angeles was tumultuous at times, but it filled seats and put MLS in the lime light, not to mention brought the Galaxy to the MLS Championship.
This is what the MLS needs to keep pushing and focusing on – they’re never going to be able to lure the best players in the world over to the States, but once they’ve done all there is to do in Europe, why not move to Los Angeles or New York and make a shit ton of money and dominate college kids and Mexicans?
Here’s the kicker: the MLS is selling tickets.
Toronto FC has sold out of their season tickets for it’s first three years in the MLS. The Seattle Sounders, playing in the Seahawks QWEST Field has a WAITING list for their season tickets. That’s pretty fucking awesome. Vancoucer FC (possibly known as the Whitecaps) is the 17th franchise in the MLS , which is partly owned by Canadian/Phoenix Sun and possible alien Steve Nash, has reportedly already sold about 10,000 tickets for their home opener which is a YEAR away. Kansas City and San Jose (read those two cities names again) sell their stadiums out to a max capacity of 10,000 fans. Philadelphia just built a stadium for the Union to play in, and Kansas City is working on one for the Wizards.
This is all amazing, especially since the quality of the MLS soccer isn’t the most amazing in the world. Add to the mix Landon Donovan and David Beckham playing in Los Angeles, and Thierry Henry coming to New York? Yikes. If the talent gets better, or more stars are attracted to playing in North America, watch out.
Is it any wonder ESPN is pushing soccer so fucking hard?