Next MLS Player to Go
What MLS player will be the next player bought by a top European club in the EPL, La Liga, or Serie A?
Adu, Altidore, Dempsey, and Guzan, were all picked up by big time clubs on the relative cheap. So far, it appears like Dempsey and Guzan were wise purchases, while Adu and Alitdore have yet to find the right club where they can get regular playing time. But what MLS player will be next?
The tough thing for many Americans is they count against the number of foreigners who are playing for a team. Big clubs don't want to use up one of their foreign born spots on an American. They'd rather use that space to buy a South American or African player. Players from the MLS and the U.S. are usually pretty cheap, compared to European based players and the talent from Africa or South America, but not that cheap. It helps to have dual citizenship, an Irish mother or German father and such, so you can attain dual passports. The other way to get around this is to play for your national team. If you play enough times for your country you can get a British work permit from the United Kingdom say if you're trying to play in the EPL. However, you've got to have the skills, strength, and speed to hold up in European professional football, whether you you're an American playing in the MLS or some Sunday soccer league, it won't matter.
Stuart Holdon - The Houston Dynamo midfielder is coming off two spectacular games in the Gold Cup and scored a screamer of an injury time goal to get the draw for the United States. Dominic Kinnear won't want the Scottish born and one time Sunderland trainee to leave so soon though, especially since he supposed to replace De Rosario, who was traded to Toronto FC.
Sasha Kljestan - After training with Celtic last year, who wanted to sign the midfielder, the Chivas U.S. midfielder has been in a slump. He played poorly in the Confederations Cup and has seemingly lost the spark and energy he was playing with before. He has some special qualities, in playing the clever game turning pass and beating players on the dribble, but he seems to have lost some of his confidence.
Sean Franklin - The MLS rookie of the year for 2008 is out with a hamstring injury that required surgery. Ruud Gullit praised the defender, despite being part of one of the worst defenses in the MLS last year, Franklin saved LA from humiliation. Franklin is an agile and skillful defender, and someone who is able to hit long balls when needed. He's a fluid player who must have learned a lot playing in Beckham's first year in the MLS, as teams got up to play the Galaxy.
Geoff Cameron - A player who has yet to receive a call up from the United States, and therefore much more difficult to get around potential European regulations, yet he's young and has plenty of time to make national team appearances. He is a tall defender, at 6 feet 3 inches, but has good feet and touch on the ball. He often drives forward into the attack on speculative dribbling runs. He brings a lot of energy to the side and has a ton of potential.
Kenny Cooper - A big forward, who trained with Manchester United as a youth player, has gotten some time with the national team but perhaps hasn't made the most of it. He had a few good looks against Honduras, even striking the ball early, just off a bounce, from distance, in a Wayne Rooney like manner.
Robbie Rogers - He's got speed and the ability to go by players on the dribble. The Columbus Crew midfielder/forward has tons of potential and has played well in the Gold Cup thus far. He could very well make the World Cup squad and spark interest if he has a good tournament in South Africa. However, he has yet to be tested in a major international match.
Jonathan Bornstein - He was replaced in the final Confederations Cup when Bocanegra came back from a hamstring injury, but was solid in the back for the United States against Spain. He's got good speed and a willingness to fight and win the ball. He plays both in the center and out wide for Chivas in the MLS.
Landon Donovan - He is still young, even though he's been around forever, and just had a good run with Bayern Munich even though he didn't get a contract. If he wants to be known as when of the best American soccer players of all time, he has to play in Europe.
Ricardo Clark - If the guy can help shore up the midfield and lead the United States to the finals in the Confederations Caup final, why can't he help an EPL team stay in the EPL and avoid regulation? His pass to Donovan to start the counter attack against Brazil that led to the second goal was simply marvelous. He led Donvoan with the pass perfectly. Clark has some fight too, maybe too much at times though, which cost him a red card versus Italy, when he decided to karate chop Gattuso.
Wynne, Marvell - Wynne has incredible speed, in time he could be a solid player. Right now though, he is a ball of fire and doesn't know how to play in a calm manner - everything he does is in a rush. But his speed is a quality that you can't ignore and Wynne is still very young. He's good at overlapping and getting into the attack, but he lacks the ability to serve in a quality cross or finish. He had a poor opening run in the Confederations Cup and might not get another chance to play in a big game like that for some time. His father's a former professional baseball player.