When David Beckham said that he was going to America to try and enhance football in that country it was widely thought that he had probably headed the ball too many times or it was just a line to cover his £120m LA Galaxy contract. Football in America was down the list after Baseball, Basketball, American Football and Ice Hockey but you have to hand it to the guy, in a year he has certainly raised the games profile to new heights.
Beckham was recently named by American sports network ESPN as the Major League Soccer Player of the Year and average attendance at LA Galaxy games is 28,000 which beats the likes of FA Cup winners Portsmouth last season.
Major League shirt sales have risen 780% and internet traffic on the Major League site has increased by 80% so maybe football really is taking a hold over there.
The American businessmen are certainly taking an interest in English teams with Aston Villa and Manchester United in the hands of American owners and my Arsenal team entering into an agreement with Stan Kroenke and his stable of Basketball (Denver Nuggets), Hockey (Colorado Avalanche) and football (Colorado Rapids) teams with the primary aims of building the Arsenal brand in the US.
Even Barack Obama has came out as a West Ham fan ever since a trip to England five years ago and admitted that he watches Premier League games whenever his schedule allows so our national sport is obviously starting to make in-roads into the national US psyche.