Drew Carey, part comedian, part owner of the Seattle Sounders, said recently that his team would like to emulate FC Barcelona. As the MLS season starts tomorrow, with the Sounders hosting Red Bulls New York, American soccer fans must smile at such sentiments. Imagine the attacking panache of the Catalan side — Messi’s dazzling runs, Xavi’s ingenious passing, Eto’o‘s sneaky finishing — taking root in the Pacific Northwest.
But Carey wasn’t talking about Barca’s style of play. Nor was he talking about their commitment to charity (FC Barcelona’s shirt sponsor is UNICEF. Sounders FC’s is X-Box). Carey wants to copy the Spanish club’s system of fan participation — sort of. Sounders fans won’t actually own the club like the Catalan fans (Carey & co. are taking care of that), but they will get to vote the general managers in and out, like Barca fans do.
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