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January 20, 2011 at 10:43 PM

Is Arsenal coming to the U.S. this summer? and other links

arsenal.jpgPhoto credit: Getty Images

On Arsenal’s team website this morning, chief commercial officer Tom Fox was talking all about the great country that is the U.S.A.

Why? Who knows? Maybe the Gunners will be coming stateside this summer. Maybe an announcement will be coming soon. Maybe — and I emphasize the word maybe — they’re on the other end of the Sounders FC friendly, an announcement that fans have been waiting a long time for.

Certain Fox quotes:

“The United States is important to us if we’re going to find those new fans and engage them in the Club.”

“We want to expose this Club to as many fans of sport and football as we can around the world. One terrific way to do that is to take the team and to show that team live and in person.”

And the big one. When asked if Arsenal would be coming stateside…

“The questions is when, not if. And when we do that we will do it in a way that demonstrates our commitment to come in and engage fans in that market in a way that is enduring and that adds value to our football club long term.”

So they’ll be coming sometime, which is news itself. I can’t remember the last time Arsenal came to the U.S. This site says 1989. Think they might be coming to Seattle? The turf and distance are always an issue. Would they fulfill the promise of the “top-five club”? Any thoughts?

More links after the jump:

* * *

Sounders FC happenings

— Apparently the ECS are making an event of Sunday’s academy games against Crossfire Premier.

— While the Sounders are training in Florida next month they’ll be a part of some tournament called the Disney Pro Soccer Classic. (not sure about this report though)

— Here’s a story on Leone Cruz and his SMU teammates being drafted from a student reporter.

Major League Soccer news

— An update on the rivals. Portland’s roster is starting to come together and Vancouver will be signing someone by the name of Alain Rochat.

Thierry Henry was recently honored with a lifetime achievement award.

— Here are some early, early power rankings. Sounders FC picked as the fifth-best team in the Western Conference.

— League veteran Carey Talley has retired, Claudio Suarez is coming back to Chivas USA but as an adviser, also the Philadelphia Union signed a pair of Colombians and Chicago is loaning out the disappointing Nery Castillo.

All the other stuff

— First a pair of interviews with some UW Huskies: Marysville-Pilchuck product John Crenshaw of the men and former Eastlake star Allie Beahan of the women. Also, word is a new UW men’s soccer coach will be hired in the next couple weeks.

— According to the Columbus technical director, the end of the Superliga might be near.

Pulpo Paul, the clairvoyant octopus, got a memorial service.

— Lastly, Clint Dempsey is rumored again to a move to Liverpool, the league website caught up with Lee Nguyen in Vietnam and here’s an update on USMNT camp.

Two videos to close

There’s proof that Leo Messi is human after the world’s best player badly missed a penalty kick.

I like the second clip that congratulates the Argentine on winning the world player of the year, while also taking some veiled shots at Cristiano Ronaldo.

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