Club vs Country…or is it Us against Them?

MLS is now in the middle of a big power struggle between England top clubs and the national team. Managers aren’t too happy that their players will only get a 3-week vacation this summer because of the 2-game tour SvenpGoran Erickson’s boys will make. But I had to laugh at the latest objection.

Criticism intensified yesterday when it emerged that England’s international with Colombia was a curtain-raiser for a league match at Giants Stadium between New York MetroStars and Chicago Fire.

England insisted they had no problem with David Beckham and company’s early billing to a Major League Soccer face-off involving MetroStars’ Youri Djorkaeff and Amado ‘The Wolf’ Guevara with Fire’s Ivan Guerrero, a Honduran briefly on Coventry City’s books.

“England are the magnet to attract a bigger crowd,” explained the FA’s director of communications, Adrian Bevington. MetroStars normally pull in between 8,000-12,000 but can expect four times that number with England in the house on May 31. Details of the huge interest in England will be outlined by coach Sven-Goran Eriksson today.

So, let me see if I understand. The US is trying to grow the sport in this country. Top clubs in England currently have American players on their squads. However, it’s bad for England to help the sport in this country make a bit of money. Did I miss something?

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