(Fro Reuters UK) - Arsenal became the latest Premier League club to forge ties across the Atlantic when they announced a new partnership with Major League Soccer (MLS) club Colorado Rapids on Friday.
The deal with Kroenke Sports Enterprises (KSE), owners of Colorado, was made with the main aim of building Arsenal's brand in the U.S., helping to improve the quality of football at the Rapids and supporting grassroots football in North America.
It will also include the development of a Centre of Excellence in Colorado, the transfer of coaching ideas and the launch of the Arsenal Cup, a club tournament open to teams from all over the U.S.
"This is a very important step for Arsenal as this becomes our first venture into the United States marketplace," managing director Keith Edelman told the club's Web site (www.arsenal.com)
"We are approaching this as a long term development partnership that will benefit both clubs significantly."
Edelman's views were echoed by Rapids managing director Jeff Plush."This groundbreaking partnership with Arsenal...is one of the stepping stones to continue pushing our sport on to the next level," said Plush.
"In today's international business community, soccer is the only true global sport that transcends ethnicity, culture and language and with this type of relationship we are making sure our company is expanding this vision."