Thursday, July 15, 2010

The French are coming!! Oh wait, it's just one Frenchman.

For those who follow (soccer, as I will refer to in the blog as) futbol, many of you already know that as of yesterday, Frenchman Theirry Henry will now be wearing a New York Red Bulls uniform in MLS. Formerly of British team Arsenal and recently Spanish powerhouse FC Barcelona, Henry is making his former vacation spot of New York his home.

Over the past year, he hasn't seen much playing time in the Spanish and Champions Leagues, as he was being chosen over the younger Pedro, and now that his exit is official, Henry will be replaced by former Valencia footballer David Villa. Henry has made some controversy over the past year, as he was part of a very controversial call during World Cup qualifiers with the French National team against Ireland. He's also been a face of speculation; as he was looking at MLS for almost 2 seasons, he was rumored to have originally been a choice for (then) expansion team Seattle Sounders FC [Cleveland does not rock here]. Well, we can all throw that out the window, as his decision is now set in stone.

What is this going to do for futbol in the United States? Hate to say it, but probably not a whole bunch at all. Remember the huge hype when David Beckham was coming to the U.S. to play for the LA Galaxy and was bringing the whole family with him? I bet LA is still basking in it, but countrywide, the hype lasted less than a month. Heck, Landon Donovan wasn't really thrilled with his cooperation and teamwork style, but then again, we're mixing two completely different playing styles forcefully. Anywho, if there is anything that's going to help the popularity of MLS, Henry and Juan Pablo Angel up top mowing through the competition for the rest of the season and taking the MLS Cup in November might actually do the trick. You never know. The United States is infamous for front-running certain things, yes? People who like soccer but never watch MLS probably will if this happens. Despite the fact that MLS is like a minor league farm system compared to the big leagues like La Liga, Serie A, and Bundesliga, respect might be gained from teams and organizations overseas if there shows to be signs of success from this deal. Not only that, it's going to give "older" players--as in guys over the age of 30--the chance to continue playing in an environment where the sport is still appreciated and will not be overshadowed by younger and upcoming players.

This deal looks really great for MLS so far, and hopefully it's a bigger invitation for more Europeans to make MLS their home in the future.

Philadelphia Union fans are totally hating on this. I guarantee it.


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