Arsenal Owner May Use LA Land For MLS Team
by Neal P. Sayatovich
Feb 08, 2014 5:54 PM EST
Under normal circumstances the MLS and NFL have nothing in common. However, the rumor mill never stops turning and this time both leagues have some mutual interest. NFL.com broke the initial story a few days ago.
Recently, St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke bought a 60 acre set of land in the Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood. Speculation on the NFL side have fans not sleeping at night, believing the team is going to move back to Los Angeles. Initial reports stated that the Rams owner was unsure of future plans for the land.
Recent reports have surfaced stating that Kroenke plans to have an MLS team started there. Kroenke was given permission to use the name “LA Gunners,” which will act as a sister team to London based Arsenal in which the Rams owner is the majority shareholder.
This idea has to be taken with a grain of salt. On the plus side the MLS could use a team that has connections to Barclay's Premier League. This could open up doors for more EPL players to transfer overseas. Also being connected to a team like Arsenal might reap a few financial benefits.
On the other side of the coin, the Galaxy have a very dedicated fan base. Local financial resources in the area are also more likely to go to the more established Galaxy team which has showed growth over the years. Galaxy aside, the Gunners would also have to compete with the other LA based team Chivas USA.
Recently, I sat down with former collegiate defender, and current high school head coach, Roderick Gibson and asked his thoughts on the matter. When asked about the thought of another club forming in L.A., he was not completely sold.
“When you have larger cities across the country that could handle a large soccer facility and club, putting a third team in Los Angeles is not a sound idea.”
Of course I agreed completely with the statement. Now the fun question, what cities would be a better fit for a new MLS club.
“A better fit might be Las Vegas or Denver,” Gibson said. “I think Atlanta would also be a good location, Boston or Detroit would be as well.”
Personally, I lean more towards Las Vegas or Atlanta for a new club. The fact that Kroenke is trying to move a third team in Los Angeles means he is either serious about trying to compete with the Galaxy and Chivas USA, or he is just using this to keep his NFL fans from going berserk at their franchise being moved.
Only time will tell what will unfold in the coming months, but there will be no shortage of debate to go with it.