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 By PA Sport
Aug 8, 2014

Sunderland strike DC United deal

Former MLS forward Alejandro Moreno explains how DC United's partnership with Sunderland could benefit both parties.

Sunderland have become the latest Premier League team to delve into the American market by signing a partnership with Major League Soccer team DC United.

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The two clubs will share coaching and business expertise alongside promoting each other in their respective markets.

Interest in the Premier League in the United States is currently at a high point following the World Cup and English clubs are capitalising on the nation's obsession.

Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal all travelled across the Atlantic during preseason, with United's clash against Real Madrid watched by more than 100,000 fans in Michigan.

Gary Hutchinson, commercial director at Sunderland, told DC United's official website: "Interest in football is growing massively in the U.S. and our partnership with DC United will provide both clubs with an excellent opportunity to grow and evolve in each other's market.

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"This is a major step forward for Sunderland AFC and a really exciting development for us in the U.S. marketplace.

"We are continually looking at new ways to develop our international profile and our partnership with DC United will help us to build closer links with this key territory."

Sunderland striker and United States international Jozy Altidore also spoke of his excitement about the new partnership.

"The game is growing each year by massive amounts," Altidore told the club's official website. "It is becoming more popular as every season passes and it is great to see, so I think the timing of this partnership is perfect.

"DC United are one of the most historic teams in the United States and they are big on tradition, they have won countless titles but I am sure they have their best years ahead of them. Moving forward the partnership will be great for both sides.

"The vision is that one day the MLS becomes one of the strongest leagues in the world, but obviously it is difficult to compete with things like the Champions League because the competitions don't have the same stature.

"Saying that, it has a lot of potential, there are so many kids playing football in the United States now and it has become so popular so hopefully one day it can be as big as American football and baseball."

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