Boca Juniors Considers Starting an MLS Expansion TeamBy: Bob | July 31st, 2007
Add another name into the possible MLS expansion mix. After touring around the United States as part of their preseason preparations, Argentine giants Boca Juniors are reportedly interested in starting their own team in MLS – Boca Juniors USA.
Orlando Salvestrini, the marketing director of Boca who initially presented the idea, believes that the American market would best benefit the Argentine club.
“The idea came after a study of the market we were doing to try to continue to enhance the “Boca brand” around the world. The places to explore are South America, Central America, and the United States, but more precisely New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Arizona”, said Salvestrini.
He continued “Major League Soccer is taking advantage of the impact of David Beckham’s arrival and we are here to talk about this”.
With Chivas already owning a team in MLS and Arsenal linked with Colorado, clearly the league is starting to be viewed as an attractive investment by some of the biggest clubs from around the world. I think this is only going to increase over time. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the US soccer market is potentially huge and as the big clubs fight for global dollars they have to make inroads in one of the world’s wealthiest countries.
The question I have, however, is whether the interests of clubs like Boca Juniors are in line with the interests of MLS and soccer in the US. Will they be committed to the league’s mandate of developing soccer US players or will they be more concerned with using the league to increase awareness of their brand? The two ideas aren’t mutually exclusive, of course, but they could be at odds.
What do you think? Is this type of investment good for MLS?