In the depths of intense sleep deprivation, I was hit by a strange and probably stupid thought. (Thank God for the blogosphere! Now I can share it with EVERYONE.) Here it goes:
Major League Soccer should place an expansion franchise in Dublin, Ireland.
A beautiful, bustling, prosperous, sports-mad city lacks a truly big-time football club. Lansdowne Road is in the middle of a state-of-the-art rebuild. MLS has already broken out of US borders with Toronto FC (and, in another sense, with Chivas USA). A flight to Dublin isn't much more punishing than a flight from New York to LA.
FC Dublin (or whatever) would use Irish players as its domestic talent pool, and could even function as a sort of all-star team for the Eircom League. While money would dictate that the very best Irish players would continue to play in England or Scotland, an MLS side would provide a middle ground between the Eircom and bigger things. Meanwhile, the team's away games would attract a lot of Stateside interest, particularly in Irish bastions like New England, New York and Chicago.
Insane? Dumb? Probably both.