Freund on the tour

I have written a couple of articles on Major League Soccer recently because it is an emerging market with emerging talent and emerging sponsorship and partnership opportunities.

Steffen Freund agrees it's an important market.

“Football is growing in America – so is the MLS. You can really feel it. At the World Cup when the States played against Portugal in the first round, over 25 million people watched the game so it’s definitely getting bigger.

“We know from when we played in America two years ago how difficult it is to play against MLS teams. You can see from the fact that the likes of Clint Dempsey and Jermain Defoe – players from the highest level – have signed for Seattle and Toronto.

“Of course, we have to try to beat them when we go there and it will be really important experience for everyone.

“It’s always a challenge for every player to win games. We’re in pre-season at the moment and it’s clear to see how hard the players are working. The games all form part of the preparation for the first game of the season against West Ham.”

Major League Soccer is not something to just be ignored, find the first US soccer superstar and you'll capture a market with all the financial gains that go with it. US companies would fall over themselves to partner so I hope we are looking that far ahead and not just short-term.

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Pre-season is important, raising our profile is important but there is longer-term to consider and a cheap talent pool to tap into.

DeAndre Yedlin caught the eye for USA in Brazil, but he won't be the only player out there so we should be talking to ex-Tottenham striker J├╝rgen Klinsmann, now the USA coach and with a responsibility to develop soccer, to see who we should be considering picking up.

In addition teams like USA and Costa Rica showed if you are together you can be greater than the sum of the parts but Spurs were not together last season. I hope they learnt the lessons of the World Cup.




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