Evening Links and Thought: Playing In Europe

Evening Links and Thought: Playing In Europe

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On December 21, 2009
  • 4 Comments
  • Ricardo Clark, Stuart Holden

What's the best move for Stuart Holden and Ricardo Clark? (Getty Images)

I won’t lie, I’ve been busy today with loads of last minute work at the office thanks to everyone taking their holiday breaks tomorrow and due to having to finalize all my Christmas shopping. Yes busy day and I’m partly to blame for the ladder of those two items since I put that kind of stuff off until the last minute.

But what I do want to discuss is from an article on Soccernet from one of my favorites Jeff Carlisle. Basically this link is all about how going to Europe for some young players isn’t what it use to be and boy this is dead on as well. I think too many times we see players go to Europe for the money and the “dream of playing” in Europe rather than actually looking at their situation as a player.

This is something I’ve been meaning to go into for a while. What I mean by it is take a guy like Stuart Holden or Ricardo Clark. They both have a chance to play in next year’s World Cup and could see plenty of playing time there too. Both are in a situation where they could go to Europe and play for a club and live that dream but potentially not see any playing time in the process, thus hurting their World Cup dreams. And also potentially putting their career in a bad situation where they don’t progress any further due to that lack of playing time. Call it the “Adu Syndrome” if you will. Quality player with a chance at something special but sees no field time to produce anything thus killing his National team chances.

And as Carlisle mentions we are seeing some of these players return to MLS because of this lack of playing time.

Now back to Holden and Clark, they are both in a situation where they need playing time to get on Bob Bradley’s roster next summer. Its coming down to either staying in MLS where the money is lacking or go to Europe and get paid but potentially just see the bench and possible no trip to South Africa.

Its a toughie.

Staying in MLS and making the World Cup roster isn’t a bad way to go either. Remember it’s playing big on the international stage that gets you that big pay day in terms of a transfer. If I were those two I’d stay in MLS for the first few months of the year and then look elsewhere in the summer after the World Cup.

  • “Staying in MLS and making the World Cup roster isn’t a bad way to go either. Remember it’s playing big on the international stage that gets you that big pay day in terms of a transfer. If I were those two I’d stay in MLS for the first few months of the year and then look elsewhere in the summer after the World Cup.”

    You assume that MLS would just let them walk away after the World Cup. As we've seen with Clint Dempsey and Shalrie Joseph, among others, the league can be stubborn when it comes to letting players leave for foreign shores.

    In addition, the players would be leaving plenty of money on the table. If a European club has to pay a transfer fee in summer 2010, they're going to be less generous when financial terms are discussed.

  • See more of my argument here: http://www.2nil.com/2009/12/clark-holden-at-cro

  • “Staying in MLS and making the World Cup roster isn’t a bad way to go either. Remember it’s playing big on the international stage that gets you that big pay day in terms of a transfer. If I were those two I’d stay in MLS for the first few months of the year and then look elsewhere in the summer after the World Cup.”

    You assume that MLS would just let them walk away after the World Cup. As we've seen with Clint Dempsey and Shalrie Joseph, among others, the league can be stubborn when it comes to letting players leave for foreign shores.

    In addition, the players would be leaving plenty of money on the table. If a European club has to pay a transfer fee in summer 2010, they're going to be less generous when financial terms are discussed.

  • See more of my argument here: http://www.2nil.com/2009/12/clark-holden-at-cro