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Tiger
Post #46
Wednesday September 3, 2014 2:48am

Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts: 94
As some of the comments have indicated, it is true that for the relative handful of recent individual outfield American players at elite European clubs there have been some stumbles and situations that for whatever reason were not necessarily good fits. LD at Bayern, Jozy pretty much everywhere with the exception of his stint in a watered down Eredivisie, Bradley giving up on Roma for MLS big dollars after Kevin Strootman displaced him, Clint getting somewhat lost in the shuffle at Spurs in the midst of the managerial confusion and commotion that was taking place at that time.

Per an earlier comment, in terms of GK's, Brad Friedel's achievements in European football are certainly on a par with Howard's and Keller's, and perhaps even beyond.

In an earlier era, there were exceptionally good American GK's who for whatever reason(s); work permit obstacles, foreign player roster limits, talent misevaluations, never received the opportunities to play in Europe, much less with elite clubs.

Although certainly capable, 'keepers such as Bob Rigby, Arnold Mausser, and Shep Messing, amongst others, never really received any European consideration, much less actual opportunities.

When international conditions began to change, later generations helped cross and span the barriers, led by Tony Meola's outstanding international play for the USNT, which opened European executives and managers eyes to the likes of Keller, Friedel, Marcus Hahnemann, and Howard.

This past year JK articulated the fact that American players, and in particular American outfield players must have the self belief, confidence, motivation, and determination to go abroad, to claim and embrace their position on elite sides.

That is definitely one part of the equation.

Another is the fact that there still remains a general misperception amongst the executives and managers at many, if not all, of the elite European clubs that individual American outfield players are not consistently up to the mark and quality expected at that level.

That belief, misplaced, and wrong as it may be, results in the systematic denial of meaningful opportunities for American players, particularly outfield players, especially at the elite clubs.

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The final stretch of the English league season is upon us, with several Americans on the verge of relegation with their teams.
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