No, it doesn’t involve players at least not directly. Instead, it’s Premier League club Sunderland and MLS club DC United agreeing to “share best practices on both the technical and commercial side, while also helping Sunderland increase its brand recognition in the nation’s capital and throughout the U.S.” It’s fair enough to ask what that really means. Unlike say DC United’s partnership with Inter Milan where they share ownership, there’s no obvious link here.
Sunderland aren’t exactly a marquee name here or abroad, and that’s after the arrival of Jozy Altidore. He links the club to USMNT fans and certainly raises awareness here. But as we’ve seen with other USMNT players, that lasts as long as Altidore remains with the club. Sunderland itself? It’s what we’ll politely call a provincial club in a competitive area where Newcastle United is the bigger brand.
There’s nothing wrong with Sunderland’s position in the Northeast of England or in the Premier League in general. There’s also nothing wrong with a club trying to increase its profile. The better question is how DC United, a club with its own problems, helps that effort. But hey, it’s always flattering for a Premier League club to refer to an MLS club as “US soccer giants”.
“Interest in football is growing massively in the USA, and our partnership with D.C. United will provide both clubs with an excellent opportunity to grow and evolve in each other’s market. This is a major step forward for Sunderland AFC and a really exciting development for us in the U.S. marketplace. We are continually looking at new ways to develop our international profile and our partnership with D.C. United will help us to build closer links with this key territory.” Sunderland AFC commercial director Gary Hutchinson.
- Friday night MLS takes on greater meaning with Landon Donovan playing for the first time after his retirement announcement. LA Galaxy vs San Jose at 10:30pm ET on NBCSN.
- Bruce Arena’s emotions get the better of him talking about Landon Donovan in what might be the most appropriate tribute for what Donovan means to American soccer.
- Hannover 96 stages a testimonial game for Steve Cherundolo.
- European leagues starting.
- Financial Fair Play regulations and the future on player spending in Europe.
Exit Music for Landon Donovan: The American Soccer Legend Retires – from Grantland’s Graham Parker: his refusal to hijack All-Star week was consistent with a man who’s ready to move on.
In rising above detractors, Landon Donovan sealed his legacy – from SI.com’s Brian Straus: Meaning hinges on priorities, and there were multiple layers to his game-winning strike, which, by the way, was no simple finish.
Landon Donovan: The Right Man at the Right Time – from American Soccer Now’s Brian Sciaretta: Once again, Donovan was the right player at the right time.
Landon Donovan stayed home when MLS needed him most – from Goal.com’s Seth Vertelney: As disappointing as it was for some to see Donovan stay put, his choice means that not only is he the greatest soccer player in U.S. history, but the most important one as well.
CHERUNDOLO SET FOR TESTIMONIAL SWANSONG – from Bundesliga.com: Hannover 96 club legend Steven Cherundolo will officially bring his professional career to an end on Sunday.
Peter Vermes dismisses rumors linking Dom Dwyer to Brentford – from MLSsoccer.com’s Steve Brisendine: “I’m not wasting time with these clubs that think that they can come and bargain-basement shop here and get guys for free,” Vermes said….
Community Shield is generally contested by good teams who often win more things – but does it mean anything? – from The Telegraph’s Jonathan Liew: In 1974, in an attempt to sluice some relevance into this moribund footballing amuse-bouche, the FA moved the match to Wembley and made it mandatory for clubs to take part.
Financial Fair Play beginning to hurt big clubs, says Arsene Wenger – from World Soccer: Yet Wenger admitted he has doubts over whether UEFA can stand up to any club to challenge it over FFP sanctions.
The Depth of the Problem – from Soccer Issue’s Ouriel Daskal: Their central midfield accumulated cost is €177m (for 5 central midfielders).
Nike builds club base as Adidas focuses on premium brands in Euro zone – from Inside World Football’s Andrew Warshaw: Altogether approximately 13 million shirts were sold by the 98 clubs in the big five leagues in England, Spain, Germany, France and Italy.
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