As a world football fan and follower of the English Premier League, particularly Arsenal FC, I recently wondered why the "Gooners" have never made a trip to the United States.
Last year, the States were the site of The World Football Classic, with European giants Inter Milan, AC Milan and Chelsea all making the trip. Then this year Manchester United did a tour of North America with games in Toronto, Philadelphia, Kansas City, and in Houston before a crowd of almost 71,000 thousand in a game against the MLS All-Stars.
Even Everton FC has come to America has recently as 2009 to also play against the MLS elite.
When accessing the Arsenal.com web address, I am asked if I would like to access Arsenal.com/USA instead. The website highlights different Arsenal supporter groups in various U.S. cities, with a viewing guide on where the best place will be to watch an upcoming match.
Also on the American version of the site is a link to the Colorado Rapids, an MLS team and an "offical Arsenal partner club."
What I don't understand is, if there are other elite European teams making the trip to America for preseason friendlies, then why don't the folks at the Emirates Stadium do likewise?
From a marketing standpoint, the benefits are numerous. Americans are the world's largest consumers of sports, and when exposed to the successful, classy, and winning brand that is Arsenal FC football, there will even more Gooners faithful in the States.
The Gunners would serve as a fantastic challenge to the United States National Team, which has a hard time finding strict competition playing in the CONCACAF region. Plus Major League Soccer and the Colorado Rapids would both benefit tremendously from a home game with the boys from North London.
I know I speak for thousands of American Arsenal fans who would love the chance to see the team in person, rather than on television in a game broadcast from another continent. Having Thierry Henry in the MLS is one thing, but a trip from the entire current club would be spectacular.
It's time to wake up Arsene Wenger and do an American tour! Arsenal fans are begging you!