Thought Trail: Sheikhs, Queens, and a new home for MLS in NYC?

Eric: The details have been hidden in the shadows, but it comes as no real surprise to see the NYTimes reporting that Man City owner Sheikh Mansour eager to stretch his empire of influence in the world of football to America. Before we fly through this topic in our private jets, I think it’s worth recognizing that - to a degree - it’s impressive that MLS has a Middle Eastern oil tycoon fawning over it, right? Or do you see this as more of a “I want to be a part of it, NY NY” attraction?

Maxi: I get the cynicism towards the Sheikh’s interest; it’s the same sort of public opinion that trails oil barons whenever they buy clubs. But as a whole, this seems to me primarily a decision based in business. Or, as much as it can be given that football clubs aren’t usually all that profitable.

That said, it seems to vindicate that MLS is a league developing on a variety of fronts: whether in terms of quality, global recognition, or financial potential, there was something in New York that prompted the Sheikh to include the city in his plans for a global portfolio. It might be the global reach of a city like New York and the gratification that accompanies it, but does it matter when there had to be a functioning league in place to prompt the decision?

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Meanwhile in New York, the Cosmos make $400m plans

It’s no secret that the revamped New York Cosmos are hoping to make a splash as they return to professional soccer in the North American Soccer League (NASL) this August. It’s no secret that Major League Soccer wants its 20th team to be in Queens.

Today, the Cosmos launched a microsite with full details about their plan to privately fund a new 25k seat stadium in Belmont Park, almost on the border of Queens and Long Island. The proposed stadium hoping to open in 2016 is designed by Populous, the firm behind projects like the Emirates, Wembley, and the London 2012 Olympic Stadium. Questions are being raised as to whether or not the New York City area could even support 3 clubs, but before we get to 3 we need to get to 2. A fair share of drama lies ahead between the Cosmos and MLS, as does plenty of entertainment, but it’s reasonable to say that this could be an extravagant, exciting leap forward.

We’re only scratching the surface, so for more information here’s…

What’s your reaction? Full support, skepticism, or thinking this is general step forward for the sport in the States?

50 Very Sensible Goals

What’s a “sensible” goal you ask? Well, you’ll have to ask Sweden’s Marcus Walkin, the creator of this video, but after watching these 50 I’m leaning towards nonsensical as my adjective to describe what’s featured on this list. Maybe Marcus is being modest. When I came across this I thought it would be merely another amazing goals list of the same, repetitive rotation, but this is actually a pretty, pretty good point of reference.

Anyone who starts with George Best’s NASL stunner in ‘81 has my vote of confidence. Which is the best strike in your book?

It may be Cinco de Mayo, but it’s all about 4th place today Why Tottenham must defeat sport’s newest evil empire

By Eric Beard

As I take a study break from my Macroeconomics final to write this, everything I am retaining from Joseph Stiglitz and Greg Mankiw’s textbooks tell me that I should be cheering on Spurs today as Harry Redknapp’s squad prepares for its season-defining game at Eastlands to take on Manchester City. Still, I can’t help but love Roberto Mancini and that scarf. Oh that scarf.

Anyway, if anyone read my piece as to why the Bundesliga is a better, more financially sound league than the Premier League, then you know why Manchester City qualifying for the Champions League is bad for English football.

If you didn’t read it, well the gist is that no team in any league around the world should ever splash cash like Manchester City plan to do. Because once Manchester City become powers in the Premier League, all other teams will try to keep up to stay competitive. The thing is, when clubs try to keep pace with City in terms of player salaries, transfer fees, state of the art facilities, etc… that is when some of England’s best clubs will be forced into financial ruin. While I know that if City qualify then they may attract stars such as Kaka, David Villa, Ibrahimovic, and whoever else you can think of that makes far too much money. But at what cost?

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