Soccer Business Bits: Big Crowd for Mexico, Manchester St. Louis & More

On a day of international friendlies for teams preparing for the World Cup, probably no team performed before more fans than Mexico in its victory over New Zealand.  The performance was remarkable, not for the result, but because it is a remarkable circumstance where a national team playing at a neutral site against an unremarkable team can draw more than 90,000 fans.  Only Mexico playing in the United States could draw such a crowd for a non-competitive event.  Perhaps most amazingly, if the US had been playing at the same time in the same city, the crowd likely would have been 20k.

In other business news, MLS has made it clear that it has an interest in foreign investment dollars.  According to this article, Don Garber recently met with representatives of Manchester City to discuss the possibility of investing in MLS.  Garber’s quotes suggest that MLS is looking to foreign teams to invest in expansion franchises.  Given the amount of interest from local investors, it is surprising that the league actually has an interest in associating with foreign teams. This is especially so in light of how poorly the Chivas branding worked out.

Finally, the USSF has announced that it will team with First Lady Michelle Obama for a free clinic as part of her recent anti-obesity initiative.  “During the event, the U.S. Soccer Foundation will announce a new and ambitious partnership with the National Alliance for Hispanic Health that brings together the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Passback Tour and the Alliance’s ¡Vive tu Vida! Get Up! Get Moving!™ the nation’s largest Hispanic family health lifestyle event series with over 15,000 participants annually.”