The big news in the world of American soccer was the announced return of Freddy Adu to Major League Soccer. For better or worse, Adu remains one of the most recognizable soccer names to most American soccer fans. After a few years of moving about Europe, Adu is reportedly coming to Philadelphia on a multi-year contract. Whatever his ability on the field, Adu still has the ability to sell jerseys and attract eyeballs. Both on the road and at PPL Park, Adu’s presence promises to drive fans to the stadiums. At the same time, any nationally televised games featuring Adu will certainly draw casual fans and generate interest in the media. Few American soccer players have the ability to move the publicity needle in the United States like Freddy Adu.
The Cover of FIFA ’12 has been revealed and Landon Donovan is front and center. The Galaxy star centers Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney and Red Bull defender Rafa Marquez. Soccer has long been one of the easier sports to translate into video games (along with hockey and football), and thus millions of American males will dutifully purchase the game regardless of whether they know anything about soccer. We’ve long believe that the less they know about soccer, the more likely they are to play with teams from Major League Soccer (many soccer fans migrate to the EPL). As a result, it is these fans that may embrace the teams and players from MLS.
A couple of final notes about the MLS/NBC deal. The deal includes full digital rights over multiple platforms for NBC which suggests streaming over NBC’s website. NBC executives have also promised to promote their MLS coverage across multiple NBC properties, including the Olympics.
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