“My seeds, run with his seeds, marry his seeds,” Ghostface once remarked, explaining the strategy by which an influx of money amongst a tight-knit group of individuals can be kept, collected, and grown into a sum that benefits the group for generations. He continued, “That’s how you keep Wu-Tang money all up in the family.” A similar process is currently taking place in the English Premier League, and the benefits are redounding to Americans of multiple generations.
This summer, Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan, two American businessmen with a particular interest in sports, joined forces to purchase a majority share in EPL club Swansea City. Plenty of European soccer clubs are owned by Americans, so this feat itself wasn’t particularly notable. What these proud Americans are doing with their ownership—the way they’re following Ghostface’s wisdom—is why we’re here today.
The first promising sign of Swansea’s new ownership’s thinking from an American perspective was their hiring of the long-suffering and much-deserving Bob Bradley to be the Swans’ new manager. Bradley has toiled for years out in the hinterlands of European soccer, striving to prove himself worthy of a coaching job in one of the world’s elite leagues by first making hay in the continent’s less glamorous competitions.
While Bradley had become a regular in the lower-midtable EPL managing gig rumor mill in recent years, no team ever put their neck out and hired what would’ve been the first American manager in a top European division. All of that changed back in October, when the American owners of Swansea saw the American coach Bradley out there and entrusted their compatriot to lead Swansea to (relative) glory.
But the passageway from the American soccer system to England wasn’t closed there. Today, there were reports that U.S. international Bill Hamid, a 25-year-old keeper who not that long ago was considered the next link in the lustrous chain of great American goalkeepers, is currently training with Swansea with an eye toward possibly earning a spot on the roster.
Hamid is currently employed by MLS’s D.C. United, so the link here is natural; Levien is one of United’s owners.
Who knows what the future holds. Maybe Swansea will sign Hamid and not long after that start him in goal and this will be remembered as the first step along what would undoubtedly prove to be a long and prosperous (and American-heavy) journey. Or maybe he’ll go home when his trial is up in a couple weeks, never to make it abroad, while a struggling Swansea team leads to Bradley’s early dismissal in March during a fan mutiny so full of enmity that Levien and Kaplan are forced to sell the club not even a year after buying it. (For the record, we’d bet on the former scenario.)
What we do know already, though, is that Levien and Kaplan are deeply invested in investing in American soccer talent. Because of that, we’re rooting for the Swansea project. Let them never forget that the true treasure in life is the glaciers of ice.