Friday, February 09, 2007

Welcome to the new Arsenal

Long the subject of rumors, it looks like the Colorado Rapids are about to become real Arses as they are set to announce a "groundbreaking international soccer partnership" with Arsenal of the English Premier League.

It looks like this deal will mean "the teams play against each other in friendlies, work on coaching initiatives, and develop players" and will also lead to a name change for Colorado. It might also mean that Rapids owner Stan Kroenke is becoming a shareholder in Arsenal.

The name options are Arsenal Colorado or Colorado Arsenal. Personally, Colorado Arsenal sounds better to me, but it really matters little. Expect the team's colors to change, again, to the maroon seen in their new logo.

It also looks like Colorado is going to start making use of this partnership soon as the club just announced yesterday that they are going to England from March 8-13 for pre-season training. And where will they train? "Fernando Clavijo’s side will be training at the Arsenal Football Club’s Training Center at Colney."

The more involvement between MLS and the EPL (and other major leagues around the world) the better. These agreements allow MLS players an opportunity for improvement and a greater chance of recognition from across the Atlantic. For the clubs of Europe, this allows them to expand their brand. One of the hardest challenges soccer faces in America is the fact that the best don't play here. However, if MLS can get folks interested in their league because of the connection to other leagues, they will be on to something wonderful.

The formal announcement of this agreement will happen today at 3pm ET.

Update: Colorado will not change their name, just their colors and Stan Kroenke is not buying into Arsenal.

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Anonymous J. Michael said...

This will be another boost for MLS. I like it.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Allen said...

There is nothing ground breaking about this agreement. It's a vaguely defined agreement. Mark my word, Euro teams will be coming to Colorado for their spring training with the new facilities and altitude to boot. But it won't just be Arsenal and this agreement will be far from the major driving force behind it.

9:54 PM  

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