Arsenal and the Colorado Rapids team up

Forbes reports that Arsenal made a bit of a reverse investment across the pond forming a business partnership with Kroenke Sports Enterprises, owner of Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids since 2004, to promote the English Premier League club’s brand in the U.S. and to push the sporting development of the MLS team.
Two parts of the Arsenal deal are to set up a player development center and a club cup tournament open to teams from across America, Both will be based at another Kroenke development Dick’s Sporting Goods (nyse: DKS – news – people ) Park in suburban Denver, which bills itself as “the world’s largest soccer complex”. That also happens to be the home of the Rapids new stadium due to open in April.
Arsenal operates similar setups with Celta Vigo in La Liga and Beveren in the Belgian League. Arsenal has invested in Mexican prodigy Carlos Vela who presently plays for Celta Vigo. Emmanuel Eboue and Kolo Toure are part of the Arsenal-Beveren feeder program which seems to have been shutdown after Jean Marc Gillou, Beveren’s sporting director and a good friend of Arsene Wenger, resigned.
This appears to be Wenger’s response to developing good US talent first off the blocks for his club. If this is indeed the case then this is a more promising development for US soccer than the arrival of 24 hour newscycle Beckham.
Arsenal’s coach Arsene Wenger says he does not see the deal as a prelude to a takeover. “There are enough Americans in the [English Premier] league now,” he says . Instead, he sees what he calls a “technical co-operation” agreement as a way to tap into the pool of young American playing talent.

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