Crossing the Atlantic from football to soccer: preliminary observations on the migrations of English players and the internationalization of major league soccer

Richard Elliott, J Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In January, 2007 it was announced that England international David Beckham, one of the most famous footballers in the world, would join the Los Angeles Galaxy in the U.S. This announcement brought global media attention for Major League Soccer (MLS) and suggestions that Beckham's signing would be the launch pad for the further development of the professional game in the country. Some four years after Beckham's arrival, this article assesses the positioning of MLS and looks at the current standing of the league in relation to labor migration patterns and internationalization by focusing specifically on the place of English players in this league. It attempts to provide an overview of the positioning of the league within an international context and also explores the interrelationship between two nations where football means quite different things. The work contributes to research on athletic migration and the internationalization of sports labor in the U.S. by teasing out some of the key issues shaping the contemporary soccer product.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-570
JournalWorkingUSA: The Journal of labor and society
Volume14
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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soccer
internationalization
migration
labor migration
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abstract = "In January, 2007 it was announced that England international David Beckham, one of the most famous footballers in the world, would join the Los Angeles Galaxy in the U.S. This announcement brought global media attention for Major League Soccer (MLS) and suggestions that Beckham's signing would be the launch pad for the further development of the professional game in the country. Some four years after Beckham's arrival, this article assesses the positioning of MLS and looks at the current standing of the league in relation to labor migration patterns and internationalization by focusing specifically on the place of English players in this league. It attempts to provide an overview of the positioning of the league within an international context and also explores the interrelationship between two nations where football means quite different things. The work contributes to research on athletic migration and the internationalization of sports labor in the U.S. by teasing out some of the key issues shaping the contemporary soccer product.",
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AB - In January, 2007 it was announced that England international David Beckham, one of the most famous footballers in the world, would join the Los Angeles Galaxy in the U.S. This announcement brought global media attention for Major League Soccer (MLS) and suggestions that Beckham's signing would be the launch pad for the further development of the professional game in the country. Some four years after Beckham's arrival, this article assesses the positioning of MLS and looks at the current standing of the league in relation to labor migration patterns and internationalization by focusing specifically on the place of English players in this league. It attempts to provide an overview of the positioning of the league within an international context and also explores the interrelationship between two nations where football means quite different things. The work contributes to research on athletic migration and the internationalization of sports labor in the U.S. by teasing out some of the key issues shaping the contemporary soccer product.

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