Why Thierry Henry Signing with Red Bulls is Bad Omen for Major League Soccer

Having boarded a jet to New York, rumors are rife that Thierry Henry has said adiós to Barcelona, and has gone on to pen a two-year deal with MLS side New York Red Bulls. Is this a step forward for the Red Bulls, or a case of history repeating itself? Anyone who remembers the North American Soccer League (NASL) can probably remember a previous New York team, the Cosmos, who drew large crowds upwards of 40,000 fans per game by bringing in foreign talent such as the legendary Brazillian Pelé and Franz Beckenbauer of Germany. When Pelé signed for Cosmos he was over 35 years old, and when Beckenbauer jumped on board he was 32. Both men, while legends in their prime, were aging fast before they crossed the Atlantic and spearheaded a wave of overpaid, aging superstars often unable to still perform at the levels that propelled them to super-stardom. There were a lot of factors in the decline of the NASL. Over-expansion was a huge reason, but one of the primary causes of the decline was a mismanagement of funds that saw millions spent on these aging stars rather than engaging the public and working to bring through young domestic talent. If we fast forward ...
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