Valencia Coming to Town

Multiple sources are announcing that La Liga powerhouse Valencia will be the latest European club team to travel the United States to play MLS teams during the Summer.  While lacking some of the cache of Real Madrid and Barcelona, Valencia is a quality side that will draw significant interest from fans in Philly and potentially DC where the team is set to play.

These matches are part of the summer ritual in MLS.  These teams criss-cross the United States preparing for their season by playing MLS sides and each other. Last year, AC Milan, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Everton were among the European powers crossing the pond to participate in an American Summer.  Not surprisingly, these games are not all about soccer.  The European teams are desperate to spread their brand to an American audience in an effort to collect fans and sell jerseys on these fertile shores.

At the same time, MLS teams can generate a large pay day by selling seats to see the foreign teams play (and these European teams don’t come for free).  MLS squads view these games as an invaluable oportunity to showcase their talents (and very existence) to soccer fans in the States who typically ignore MLS.  Some teams believe so strongly in these opportunities, that they readily shift MLS regular season matches to accomodate the games. Recall that the Galaxy made the AC Milan friendly an important part of their Beckham negotations.  Interestingly, some teams readily participate in these matches (Seattle, Los Angeles), while others show no interest (the Revs have vehemently denied that Valencia will be stopping in Foxboro).

Overall, we think that these games are great for MLS. Every time that a fan of a team like Valencia, Barcelona or Chelsea enjoys their experience at an MLS game, is an opportunity to create a fan who comes back to see the players for their local side.  Moreover, these events typically generate substantial revenue for the MLS Sides.  The touring season starts this weekend in Harrison with Santos

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3 Responses

  1. I love when the big teams come over here and play. Valencia is just under the big guns you mentioned. This year should be interesting because of the World Cup. This is just one of my own personal theories but I think the reason Manchester United stopped coming to the States was because of the 2004 European cup. The year before United enjoyed a good American tour. The summer of 2004 most of their players were in action during the European Championships. Sir Alex Ferguson was attempting to rest those players but caught flack for playing unknown players. Next thing you know Paul Scholes is being flown in and I think Fergie felt it interrupted their preparation and start to that campaign. They have not been back since. So it will be interesting to see how the World Cup will effect the players brought over and played here in America.

  2. The New England Revolution is the worst soccer team in the MLS, nay the entire known universe. I hate this team with every fiber of my being and I hate the ownership of the Revs even moreso. Burn the uniforms and move this team to Quebec City or St. Louis. A COMPLETE DISGRACE to The Beautiful Game.

  3. A bit harsh no?

    Because this is a business site, I’ll skip the hate for the Revs and ask about the hate for the ownership?

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