Date:Friday May 5 2006
Globalisation has reached Crystal Palace - the Eagles are flying stateside. The South London club have announced the launch of Crystal Palace FC USA. The newly formed developmental franchise will cater for players from the Under 9 age group upwards, with the full side competing in the United Soccer League - the highest American division outside of the MLS.
Palace's American dream can be credited to their chairman, as Director of Football Bob Dowie explains. "One of the key briefs Simon Jordan gave me when I came on board was to develop the footprint of Crystal Palace worldwide. More specifically, he wanted us to establish a presence in developing football countries, to give the club access to their best and brightest, up-and-coming young talent, as well as their current star players."
The move represents a concerted and bold effort to exploit previously untapped player procurement avenues. "We see this as a vital extension of our already growing recruitment network," revealed vice-chairman Dominic Jordan. "We continue to make investments in the Club's future and are excited by the prospect of our investment giving us access to the top US youth talent, in what is without doubt, one of the fastest growing football nations."¯
Palace have employed American players previously, with limited success. In future the Eagles will hope that their transatlantic relations are more profitable.
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