Americans have been heavily involved in Premier League management, including John Henry at Liverpool and the Glazer family who own Manchester United.
Friday marked a dawn of a new relationship between the PL and MLS though, when Stoke City announced a strategic partnership with Orlando City SC.
The goal of the agreement between the two sides is to advance player recruitment and development, as well spark fan engagement in both leagues.
Potters Chief Executive Tony Scholes:
“It’s an opportunity for us to share best practice with Orlando in a variety of areas, primarily in player recruitment, marketing and development, but also to give both clubs chance to grow in each other’s markets,” said Scholes.
“A large number of our fans already regard Orlando as their MLS side and I know that Stoke City are already followed by many Orlando fans.
“As an established Premier League club we are always looking at new ways to develop our profile overseas and our strategic partnership will help us to develop in the United States.”
NBC’s recent coverage of the PL has sparked massive interest in the United States, giving fans various opportunities to watch matches over the course of a weekend. As MLS continues to grow as well, you can surely expect interest abroad, specifically in Europe, to grow too.
Phil Rawlins, Founder and President of Orlando City, is excited with the relationship building between the two clubs.
“It was very clear that we’ve always had a good relationship with Stoke City and it came down to us wanting to reignite that synergy and bring our brands closer together. This will be our only partnership in England, and we hope to ignite passions for both our clubs in each other’s markets.”
The pursuit of MLS to become a top league has a ways to go, but a move like this will surely only benefit commissioner Don Garber and the rest of MLS.