MLS still gets a bad rap across the Atlantic, and while it doesn’t really matter, holding onto Patrick Vieira would be a massive middle finger.
Maybe it’s because I cover the Premier League as much as I cover MLS, but I do grow rather tired of European fans brushing off America’s brand as if it were a bargain-bin league. MLS is the new kid on the block, but they have built for themselves a league to be proud of, and one that could absolutely rival European leagues in the coming decades.
Mostly because America offers some key components of daily life that you can’t get in European leagues. Namely, that it’s America, and America rocks.
MLS is America’s latest maverick endeavor to create their own brand in the face of a global, European brand that has long gone uncontested as the “right way,” which was only the case because they had a monopoly.
Therefore, any way that MLS can pull one over on their counterparts overseas should be a welcome accomplishment, and a glorious middle finger extended over the Atlantic. But again, I’m not petty at all.
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As such, when Arsene Wenger announced he was stepping down, as an Arsenal fan, I was one of many who believed it was time for Patrick Vieira to take a “higher calling” and assume the throne that seems perfect for him over in North London.
But then the comments started to come in, about how it was such an easy choice. About how MLS has nothing more to offer Vieira if the Premier League is on the table. And that is where this European superiority complex rubbed me to the point of wishing Vieira would stay at New York City FC. For more than just New York City FC’s sake.
The big test for MLS comes when they have to go toe-to-toe with these European leagues. How do you keep someone in America when Europe offers such a bigger and brighter stage? That is the question that they really haven’t had to face yet, because it was pointless to ask.
But with Vieira, they finally fight this battle. Because Vieira has stated that he is happy in New York, managing a team in the capital of the world, despite being flattered by the links to his former club.
This could be America’s first real “win” over their big brothers across the pond, even if the win is downplayed with countless excuses, because you can bet that Vieira has at least been chatted with about becoming the new manager of the Gunners and if he chooses to stay in New York because of this fantastic (thus far undefeated, as of writing) team that he has built, then, well, take that, Europe.