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Teal Bunbury Waits on Stoke's Decision

KANSAS CITY, KS - OCTOBER 09: Teal Bunbury  of the Kansas City Wizards controls the ball during a match against the Seattle Sounders at Community America Ballpark in Kansas City, Kansas on October 9, 2010. The Sounders won 2-1. (Photo by Josh Umphrey/Getty Images)

The list of Americans trying to cross the pond to play in England continues to grow.

And no, I’m not talking about Landon Donovan.

Teal Bunbury, a 20-year-old U.S. International who has been on trial at Stoke City in recent weeks, is waiting to hear if the Potters will offer him a contract.

Stoke City manager Tony Pulis has high praise for the young forward, but isn’t tipping his hand on what will happen next.

“He’s done smashing, mixed in well and got a goal the other day,” he told The Sentinel. “Whether he’s what we want for the next step, we’ll have to see. But he’s a nice kid and, like most American sports people, is very dedicated. His attitude during his time here has been first-class.”

Bunbury was born in Canada to a Canadian father and American mother and traveled to England and Portugal as his father played professional soccer in those two countries.

When he was 10, the Bunburys moved to Minnesota, and he eventually ended up at the University of Akron.

While playing for the Zips, he came off the bench as a freshman before blossoming in 2009 as a sophomore. He led the nation with 17 goals in 25 matches and led the Zips to the College Cup Final.

He then signed a Generation Addias deal and was the fourth overall pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft by the Kansas City Wizards – now known as Sporting Kansas City.

Typically a striker, Bunbury spent a lot of time in his first season in Kansas City playing more of an attacking midfield role behind the forwards. He had five goals and two assists in 26 appearances (13 starts).

It will be interesting to see if Bunbury can adapt to the physical brand of soccer that Pulis favors. Whether he gets offered a deal or not, I think Bunbury will be better for the experience.

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  1. DGS

    December 20, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Trial or no trial and work permit issues aside, no point in leaving for Europe too early and becoming a bench-riding nomad.

    Couple of more years in MLS, leave for Europe around 2012, and he should be in good shape for a shot at the USMNT for World Cup 2014.

  2. Brett

    December 20, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Like most Americans (and other non-Europeans) who go on trial or garner interest in England, the biggest hurdle will be getting a work permit. Without an EU passport he needs to have featured in 75% of his National teams games over the past two years (he hasn’t) or prove that him playing in the UK will benefit British football.

  3. Dave

    December 20, 2010 at 10:34 am

    @TealBunB: Stoke was great. Had a really good time & learned a lot in short time. 2 be clear tho it was not a trial

    • Brian W

      December 20, 2010 at 12:03 pm

      Not to mention, there’s no way in hell he gets a work permit. You think the authors here would at least know about what they are writing.

      • The Gaffer

        December 20, 2010 at 12:13 pm

        Brian, we’ll have to wait and see what develops, but it’s possible that Teal may be able to get in via his parents, both of whom I believe are British subjects.

        The Gaffer

        • atl

          December 20, 2010 at 12:36 pm

          Wait for what? Soccer by Ives and Teal himself have both repeatedly said since day one that it was NOT a trial. Love the site Gaffer but this article should have never been posted.

          • The Gaffer

            December 20, 2010 at 12:49 pm

            I didn’t realize that Ives was the gospel 😉

            Ives said that Edson Buddle’s trial at Birmingham wasn’t a trial either. But then the BBC came out afterwards and said it was a trial.

            Trial or training, it’s practically the same thing. The club wants to look at a player and assess his abilities.

            The wait I was referring to is whether Bunbury would be able to get documents to give him a chance of a UK/EU work permit, if Stoke is interested in him.

            The Gaffer

  4. Matt

    December 20, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Played against him in Midwest Regional League. I still have no idea how we won 1-0, but that’s beside the point. This kid is class in every sense of the word

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