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USMNT and CONCACAF: Strong USL Ties

robles 300x225 USMNT and CONCACAF: Strong USL Ties Luis Robles, a strong candidate to make the US World Cup Team in 2010 played two seasons in the PDL

Last week we discussed on this site that two of the key players in the (arguably) USMNT’s most remarkable run Jay DeMerit and Charlie Davies had played in USL as well as College Soccer but had not played in MLS. Today’s piece will feature USL alumni in this summers CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Underlined players have not played in MLS.

Here is the list of USMNT players:

Troy PerkinsCape Cod Crusaders (2002-03), Northern Virginia Royals (2004; loan from DC)

Luis Robles- Boulder Rapids Reserve (2003-2004)

Logan Pause – Raleigh CASL Elite (2002) – PDL

Charlie DaviesWestchester Flames (2006)

Brian ChingSpokane Shadow (1998-99), Seattle Sounders (2001-02)

Jimmy ConradSan Diego Flash (1998)

Colin Clark – Boulder Rapids Reserve (2005)

Michael ParkhurstBradenton Academics (2002)

Heath Pearce- Bradenton Academics (2004)

Sam Cronin – Carolina Dynamo (2005-08)

Brad EvansOrange County Blue Star (2004-06)

Jon Busch – Carolina Dynamo (1997), Hampton Roads Mariners (1996-00), Hershey Wildcats (2001)

Canada:

Greg Sutton – Cincinnati Riverhawks (2000), Montreal Impact (2001-06)

Adrian Cann – Montreal Impact (2004-06)

Andre Hainault – Montreal Impact (2004-05)

Paul StalteriToronto Lynx (1997-98)

Ali Gerba – Montreal Impact (2000, 2003-04, 2005) Pittsburgh Riverhounds (2002), Toronto Lynx (2002-03)

Will Johnson – Chicago Fire Premier (2003-05)

Atiba Hutchinson – Toronto Lynx (2002-03)

Kevin HarmseVancouver Whitecaps (2004-05)

Patrice Bernier – Montreal Impact (2000-02)

Chris Pozniak – Toronto Lynx (1999-01), Vancouver Whitecaps (2008)

Charles Gbeke – Vancouver Whitecaps, Seattle Sounders, Rochester Rhinos, Toronto Lynx, Montreal Impact 2001-current

Grenada:
Shalrie Joseph – NY Freedom (2002)
Ricky Charles – NH Phantoms (2005-06), Brooklyn Knights (2007)

Haiti :

Fabrice Noel – Puerto Rico Islanders (2007-present)
James Marcelin – PR Islanders (2008-present)
Leonel Saint-Preux – Minnesota Thunder (2009-present)

Jean Alexandre – Palm Beach Pumas (2006-07) Ventura County Fusion (2008) Austin Aztex (2009-present; loan from RSL)
Kenold Versailles – Vancouver Whitecaps (2008-present)

Jamaica

Nicholas Adderly – Vancouver Whitecaps (2008), Puerto Rico Islanders (2009)

Costa Rica

Gonzalo Segares – Williamsburg Legacy (2003)

Trinidad and Tobago have a number of USL alumni on their current squad but as our readers are aware the World Cup 2006 participants who have qualified for the Hexagonal in World Cup qualifying failed to qualify for the Gold Cup.

This entry was posted in CONCACAF, Leagues: Major League Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

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.
View all posts by Kartik Krishnaiyer →

18 Responses to USMNT and CONCACAF: Strong USL Ties

  1. Cali Comet says:

    Brad Evans was just one of many really good players with the Blue Star at the time. Ever hear fo Sacha Kljestan or Jurgen Klinsmann?

  2. Lars says:

    You forgot the Illustrious Dwayne De Rosario under the Canada section. Former Battery and Lynx player.

  3. Eric says:

    Good piece although I have a bone to pick with your previous story on FSc. I watched the USL breakaways show this month on FSC and the show has FSC grahapics and FSC correspondents. Yes I agree Fox could do more american soccer specific shows, but the USL show is their show and it is a good show.

  4. Daniel Feuerstein says:

    Tim Howard. 1997 North Jersey Imperials before joining MetroStars the next season.

  5. Lars, and Daniel good points but this list is of players only on the official Gold Cup squads submitted to CONCACAF. Howard and DeRo aren’t playing nor is Pat Onstad, longtime USL player who won the Open Cup with the Rhinos in 1999.

  6. Lars says:

    Heh, fell victim to my own accusation of not reading the full article. I saw ‘USMNT and USL.’ Then I saw Canada listed there too and went searching for guys I knew were USL at one point…

  7. BornIntoSoccer says:

    I just happened upon this site and have read a bunch of articles today (including, obviously, this one). It seems to me that, in arriving at many of your conclusions, you (several of the main story contributors) provide very shady facts in building to your point…. like a house of cards. To someone not in-the-know (and I mean really in-the-know), your facts often justify your conclusions. However, on some of the issues about which I know a lot, it’s just the opposite. Keeping to this article, if you’re trying to make the point that the US National Team has “STRONG USL TIES”, and that somehow that demonstrates that the USL is a viable, strong professional league, your facts (i.e., your list of players) does very little to support that conclusion. I’m wondering if you can provide the same list, only hide all players who played in the PDL as a non-pro, college player AND all players who played USL prior to 2000. Reason being that (1) college kids who want to keep fit in the summer have little alternative but to play PDL, which while USL is not professional and shouldn’t be lumped together with USL-1 and USL-2 in terms of your point; and (2) while MLS first was getting its legs (1996-1999) there were tons of US players in the A-League (and USISL) who were making very good money — more than MLS’ then-minimum salary of $24K. They wouldn’t leave their “USL” team for MLS, but would leave for Europe, as some did.

    The point is that very few players go to USL-1 or USL-2 and later find themselves on the US Mens National Team. If they’re good enough to go GenAd or to Europe before finishing college, they will. If they finish college and cannot make an MLS roster (tougher this year than all others with the elimination of MLS reserves), they go to USL. VERY, very few players today will actually OPT for USL over MLS. I think this may change as USL teams continue to spend more on player salaries and provide players with more favorable contract terms, but for now… any link (“STRONG TIES”) between USL and the USMNT is non-sense.

  8. Born Into Soccer,

    Thanks for your comment. You are in fact right, but the motivation for writing the piece is we have a lot of fans in the US who read sites like this who have no knowledge of the USL umbrella and assume MLS is the only place to develop players. While you may object to lumping all the league, professional, semi-pro and amateur together they are all in fact part of the USL.

    The A-League was the USSF sanctioned 2nd division and the USISL was the USSF sanctioned third division. Upon the merger these leagues all came under the same umbrella.

    The point is also being made for other CONCACAF nations.

    Just as a point of reference I note many articles written by people less sympathetic to the American game then myself have pointed out the number of current USMNT “A” team members (guys called in for qualifiers and the Confed Cup) who don’t play in MLS. People like myself and I am sure yourself are quick to point out that something like 17 or 18 of the 22 played in MLS at one time. In fact the league itself is quick to point that out.

    So if MLS and MLS fans can apply that standard why cannot it not apply to USL? The truth is all the above listed players have played on team that at the time was in one of the leagues under the USL umbrella. This article was written to point that out so that fans of the sport in this country realize the contribution of the leagues under the USL umbrella. Many many many fans assume MLS is the only league that has decent quality players pass through it.

    As for your point of players choosing USL over MLS I know of several players this season who got more favorable contract terms from USL clubs and opted to sign there. Not necessarily more money but more favorable terms, such as perks, etc. Sadly not one of these players I mention is on my local Miami FC team. :(

  9. BornIntoSoccer says:

    Thanks for the response… and also to you and the others who make this site happen. Always great to have a forum to learn new things and discuss interesting topics.

    In addition to the potential “perks” of signing with a USL team, USL clubs are much more willing to negotiate shorter length contracts with its players; whereas MLS requires all new players to lock in for 4 years. This is a direct result of USL clubs owning their own players’ rights as opposed to MLS clubs who do not (b/c all players are employees of the League, not club). USL clubs have much greater incentive to develop players and loan or sell their rights to other clubs, foreign clubs or MLS.

    This brings me to one final comment on your last posting — to say that 17 or 18 of the 22 players on the USMNT Confeds Cup squad played in MLS at one point is true, but again potentially leads to a false conclusion on the state of MLS. The true reason for that figure is that around 95% (i’m making that up but it’s close) of all 16-22 year old Americans who are at a stage to go pro (i.e., whether they personally decide to complete college or not) do not have access to European clubs, whether this stems from lack of exposure, lack of interest, lack of US Nat’l Team caps (for work permit reasons), lack of an EU passport (for other league restrictions), etc. Therefore, MLS is pretty much the only game in town (for the services of a “division 1 professional soccer player”). That is why (1) MLS can sign young players at well-below-market salaries, and (2) MLS is forced to wave goodbye after 4 years (of indentured servitude) to those players who develop and have the ability to go abroad and earn (typically) 8-20x what they made in MLS the prior year. If the point is that MLS has cultivated these young talents, I completely agree. The League is getting better each year, which further helps develop our young players, but it is still not at the level of top European clubs in ability and WAY, WAY far behind in terms of ability to pay market wages. Per the Ivan Gazidis/Mark Abbott business model — which was genius for the league’s survival and growth — slow and steady wins the race.

  10. Sav says:

    Kartik,

    It is disappointing you would feel compelled to respond to that post. MLS people are constantly trying to marginalize the exposure or credibility of USL. That guy was probably no more than an MLS paid or sponsored tool.

  11. BornIntoSoccer says:

    Sav… you’ve got it all wrong. The only mention of MLS in there was to say that it’s minimum salary from 1996-1999 was embarrassing ($24K). My next post, written just before yours, goes to explain why it’s also wrong to consider the USMNT players who played in MLS as a barometer for that league (MLS), because MLS is the only option for those players, and once they play out their forced-upon 4-year contract, the very talented US players will all leave for $$greener$$ pastures. Not the words of a MLS lackey; quite the contrary. I’m a realist, not a paid spokesperson.

  12. Ric says:

    Kartik,
    Fabrice Noel, who you have listed as not having played in MLS, played 16 games and scored two goals for the Colorado Rapids before being waived and signing with the Islanders.

    He did have an article written about him in Sports Illustrated, after all…

  13. Born into Soccer,

    I agree with your most recent comment.

    Ric,

    Yes I know, actually a major typo with the HTML which I tried to fix which is why it is underlined. I tried to undo it (it automatically did it because of the guy below and I tried to change it and it didn’t.). Obviously I remember him with the Rapids. Any idiot would after all Fernando managed him at the national team level and signed him for the MLS before he floated down to USL.

  14. Rob says:

    DeRo actually made his mark with the Richmond Kickers prior to going to MLS.

  15. Lars says:

    As previously mentioned, this is for Gold Cup call ups only.

  16. Ric says:

    “Any idiot would after all Fernando managed him at the national team level and signed him for the MLS before he floated down to USL.”

    er….yeah! What kind of an asshole would ever do that?!?!

  17. soccer goals says:

    What a large list. USL has developed sever strong players.

  18. hakeemkumi says:

    hello
    i’m hakeemkumi and i’m looking for a team in another country to play and i know that some body here is there looking for a player and i can be good and somebody too will like me as the team like and i can be like drogba and i make money and everybody know that players make money please help me

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