It's no secret that Southampton wants to expand their brand globally. In fact, in a recent announcement, written about by our Dan Noutch, Southampton have said that beginning in January, they will be setting up American "soccer schools."
This initiative will see the club teach more than 100,000 players a year in North America. Ralph Krueger has made it a priority to take the Southampton brand overseas and will begin these "schools" in Baltimore, Maryland.
Now, that's just a small step for Southampton to get their brand to America. Another has also been the rise in popularity of the Saints thanks to NBC Sports. NBC has done an exceptional job of exposing American's to the Premier League with all games available either on TV or online on their website.
Southampton has been shown numerous times across the TV platforms including the networks USA and NBC Sports. Southampton was even available on the flagship station, NBC, in their game against Liverpool at Anfield. That game was available to over 100 million American homes.
As popularity rises in the USA, and fans, like myself, begin pop up around the states, one would think that a Southampton preseason tour, or at least a game, is almost inevitable in the states.
Thanks to Jim Lucas from Southampton, I was able to get information on Southampton's last time in the U.S., in which Saints played in the Trans-Atlantic Challenge Cup, in 1981, in what was the 2nd year of the tournament's short 5 year existence.
The tournament was held in New York and hosted by the New York Cosmos. The tournament also featured Seattle Sounders, who won the cup, and Celtic.
With the rise in popularity in the USA thanks to their play, the new soccer schools that will be sprouting up early in 2016 and the massive exposure Saints get thanks to NBC, the timing has never been better for Southampton to bring their team to America for a few matches in the next year or two.
What are your thoughts on a Southampton preseason tour in the USA? Let me know!