English club Arsenal is examining the possibility of opening a large-scale training center in the United States.
“The club is convinced that America is a vast and largely untapped potential resource," says an Arsenal source. "Football is huge in America and there should be more American youngsters getting through to the highest level – and the belief is they would be if they had the chance. Right now, the best athletes are taken by the other main sports in the U.S., whereas this would be the start of trying to turn them into the Premier League footballers of tomorrow.”
The project is the brain-child of Arsenal's billionaire director, Stan Kroenke. He is also the owner of the Colorado Rapids and built the Dick's Sporting Goods Park soccer stadium and field complex. Arsenal is looking at an East Coast location for its academy but could opt for the Rapids' complex in Commerce City, Colo.
Our take: It will sure be interesting to see what Kroenke's fellow MLS owners think of the idea of Arsenal starting its own academy.