Anschutz: The Godfather of U.S. Soccer

Important LA Times story from Grahame L. Jones today on how Phil Anschutz's AEG (owners of LA Galaxy, Home Depot Center, etc) will not invest in European soccer...but insists it will make the new women's pro league a success.

Both stances, stated by AEG exec Tim Leiweke, are critical, and to be honest, we (American soccer connoisseurs) should all be thankful for the domestic focus.  Anschutz is one of the sport's most prominent investors EVER in the U.S. - he also still owns Houston Dynamo and, at one point, collectively with KC owner Lamar Hunt, owned almost half the franchises in the league (AEG also owned Chicago, DC, NY and Colorado).

The most important point, though, may be Leiweke's statement that if AEG owned part of a European club, they wouldn't as easily be able to bring in other European clubs for high profile US tours, such as FC Barcelona's upcoming three-match US roadshow (opponents include Galaxy and Seattle Sounders.)

MLS, in its 13th season, now has 16 owners for its 18 teams (2 clubs have not yet kicked off, in Philly and Vancouver.)  This all sort of makes Mr. Anschutz the godfather of modern US pro soccer.


I Speak Soccer, a film by Terry Kegel

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