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Americans Should Stay in MLS

mls logo Americans Should Stay in MLS

By Chris Riordan

There is an important question beckoning, one that needs an answer. Where can talented members of the U.S. men’s National Team go, to best cultivate their talent?

Some of our most talented players are withering away on benches in Europe . Last year, Jozy Altidore was transferred from Red Bull New York , to Villareal of La Liga, in what was the highest transfer fee for an MLS player. While, it was disappointing for our domestic league to lose such an exciting and skilled player, it seemed good for the National Team. This was supposed to be Jozy’s chance to take his game to a new level, and get valuable international experience in Europe . After playing well in some friendlies, and non league fixtures, the move seemed the right choice. Then, Altidore was sent on loan to second tier side Xerez. At the time, I figured that all parties would benefit from this deal, and that Jozy’s playing time would be increased greatly. Instead he has foundered on the bench. Even after scoring a hat – trick in a World Cup qualifier against Trinidad and Tobago , Altidore still can’t crack the lineup.. This is inexplicable, he clearly has a lot of talent, yet he’s not even getting time as a sub.

While he can’t get off the bench, another young American talent, Freddy Adu, rarely if ever, even makes it on the match day 18 squad. Adu plays for Ligue 1 side, AS Monaco. Again, it seems strange that an exciting, versatile player can’t even get cleanup minutes.

DaMarcus Beasley, while not as young as the other two mentioned, has been a very important part of the US MNT. DaMarcus also has trouble finding any kind of consistent playing time.

Also, guys like Michael Parkhurst, arguably the best defender in MLS last season, are playing at smaller clubs in Scandinavia. Though, they are making more money, the level of play is not much different there, than at home.

So the question bodes, where can guys like Altidore and Adu go to develop their game, with an adequate level of play and sufficient playing time? Or does it serve the National Team and domestic club game better, to have them in MLS?

It’s nice to see our players in Europe , but it’s just as good to see them play at home. I’d rather see them play here, then say, (no offense) in Norway.

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About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
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