Thursday, January 21, 2016

Here we go again...

I'm not going to launch into some tirade (as some might expect), but this can't help but feel like an uneasy déjà vu fraught with impending controversy.



- Greg Seltzer

21 comments:

dikranovich said...

Yeah, this is the same person who said, it's not a matter of if, but when Morris will sign. Sounds like he is just covering his back side, because he jumped th gun, and now has to backtrack. The homesick excuse, absolves werder Bremen brass of being at fault..... In their own minds.

gratefulag said...

D, You are projecting, at best.


Greg, why are we seeing such disinterest from USMNT players in playing abroad? It seems as though our player pool is of the mindset that MLS can get them to the USMNT, and it doesn't necessarily behoove them to slog it out in more competitive leagues. To me, it's shocking to see as these European leagues are much more accessible here stateside.
I'd be curious to know what Michael Bradley or some of these more tenured guys think of this trend.

Chris said...

I agree. Why would you announce this publicly? The guy said that Morris would sign and now has to eat crow, so instead of doing that he is covering his butt.

DaM said...

@Greg people seem to be thinking of more recent returnees like Dempsey and Bradley, but is your deja vu reference to Landon with his early stint in germany? One wonders if it is something particularly endemic to German football, maybe even the large language barrier (no clue how easy it is to get by in that area on just English).

Anyway, while things turned out pretty okay with Landon (who was younger at the time, but never went back). I think like most reasonable people I would like to see our best players playing in the best league. While I hope MLS becomes a best league and it is getting closer, it still has a ways to go. While I have pointed this out before, that thread got a bit sidetracked... should those of us who want the best players playing in Europe be sad about this though?

If there's one thing that I learned from the Jozy experience it is: the team often can matter as much as the player. I'm not sure we would be better off with Jordan toiling to get minutes on a relegation threatened team in a great league in the face of coaching changes, relegation and fans demanding instant results. I haven't watched much Bremen football with AJo being injured, but one has to wonder if Morris's real reason was not trusting the situation.

dikranovich said...

This question is not just for us to answer here in the USA. Many brazilians felt that Neymar and Brazil would be better served by him staying at santos, until after the World Cup.

I just don't think maradona left boca junior because he felt like he needed Europe to improve. South Americans go to Europe for the money, fennel can vouche for this.

Eddie pope was every bit as important as tony sanneh in 2002, one had European experience, one did not. Fast forward to 2014. Geoff Cameron euro experience, played a very nice World Cup, Matt besler, no euro experience, played a very nice World Cup.

why does it not make sense to have a strong domestic league? grella developed in America, he toiled at Leeds, and he is excelling with red bulls. He is a good player, and more players like him in MLS raises the league to new heights..... And I think all you knuckleheads, you realize this. But it is so obvious, you just can't quite wrap your melons around it yet.

I mean Jesus, Greg moved to Europe specifically to follow the Americans abroad, and that is wonderful, and admirable..... It really is

The best way to win a World Cup, have a strong domestic league, then have champions from your domestic league win continental events.

Where is the proof that South American teams have improved at world cups since South America started sending its players to Europe? Where is the proof???

Greg Seltzer said...

Just for the record, I moved to Europe specifically to position for working World Cup 2006. And to sample a new selection of ladies.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ DaM: Yes, my reference was specifically to Donovan.

dikranovich said...

Hence the expression the grass is always greener on the other side....

dikranovich said...

Anybody out there looking for a new selection of ladies, I highly, operative word on high, recommend park city Utah. I mean... Whoa... Look out!!!

Greg Seltzer said...

Wrong, as usual. The grass is greenest where I am now. Never been greener.

brian said...

wrong AGAIN.... amsterdam has the greenest grass

Greg Seltzer said...

Bringing this thread back onto the rails...

@ gratefulag: Dunno, but your theory is as good as any.

Fennel said...

Greg,

As a USMNT fan I was glad Donovan spent the bulk of his career in SoCal. Having followed his entire career it seems pretty obvious that when LD was not happy he was awful.

I doubt he would ever have been happy long term at any European club. Yeah he was awesome at Everton ( a mediocre team) but that was just for a month or so. Being there for a whole season would have been completely different.

Had he managed to stay in Europe and keep is place, he would have been a much better player of course but as it was he was a B-, C+ level international and that was better than nothing.

He was of course America's best player but that has to be put in context.

dikranovich said...

The spectre of the New York cosmos runs deep, and all these years later it can still be felt. If you were a cosmos supporter, you felt that U.S. Soccer failed you, by closing up shop. If you were not a cosmos supporter, you felt the cosmos created an atmosphere that lead to the demise of the league.

Dr.Jon said...

I have my own bias here. I think that soccer in the US is a position of privilege. These are largely middle-upper/middle class kids whose parents pay (I do this) upwards of 2+K/yr for play for local leagues (my are is a USSF dev program in MD). So you get a very self-selecting bias. It is the rare kid who has the privilege to pay to play AND the burning, almost pathological desire, to succeed that we associate with champions (Jordan, Kobe, LeBron).
At this point in time, most of these players in the US go with NFL or NBA because that's where the money is. You don't have the starving inner city kid playing soccer to become a millionaire. You have the son of a doctor who wants to get a college scholarship. Huge difference, in my opinion.

So, you have someone like LD, clearly very talented, probably best in state for his age at 16. He goes to Leverkusen - 9000 miles from Cali and is essentially told go over with the over 10 just as good if not better midfielders and work to play in 1 of 4 spots. I think that 2 or 3 years that he stuck it out and worked made him the player he is (and is underappreciated in his development, because that is literally infintely better training than HS or college level soccer). I bet he fought day in and out, and I bet he was homesick, but at that point the bar was set and it helped form him into the best USMNT player in history.


Until we get a talented league that pays "professional" salaries (whatever that is - NBA parity?) this is a problem.

Anyway....what do you think?

Dr.Jon said...

(Clint Dempsey would be an exception to my rule, poverty background, crazy drive and desire and no surprise he has done very well in US, in Europe, and Internationally)

He should be the prototypical US player, IMO.

DaM said...

I mean the players who have come back, it isn't hard to get why. MB had to choose between sticking it out in Italy and trying to break through that midfield to be an every day starter, going somewhere less crowded where I am sure he would have made it work but still would have taken a year or two OR take retire when you want money from MLS.

Altidore after being mired in that Sunderland hellscape probably did not have a ton of choices that would compare salary wise to what MLS would offer.

Dempsey probably felt like he had done what he had done and wasn't young enough (or far and away better enough) to push into a CL side and demand CL minutes so he too took the sweetheart deal.

I'm not sure that we have a large enough sample size of USMNT automatic starters coming back to MLS to really say much more than at some point in their careers american players have to stop and look at their potential to make a big payday vis a vis europe's inherent bias against american players (justified or otherwise).

Morris and LD are different circumstances. Young players (allegedly) being homesick and passing on europe. I mean for every Morris there are pullisic's and gyau's and hyndman's and Rubin's and so on (then again there is a Pelosi or two too). As a side note, it will be interesting to compare Rubin's development with Morris's. Obviously there is still a bit of an age difference but other than that they are basically on diametrically opposed development tracks. For 18+ development College + MLS v. euro pro. Both pretty highly rated prospects. Hopefully Rubin can fix what seems like have been some health issues.

Anyway, my point is I am not sure we can really identify a trend with respect to american player's euro aversions that really relates to Morris as the other recent returnees are all different. Jozy and Pelosi might be the closest but their reasons for returning don't really line up with Jordan's.

Patrick said...

Bradley came back for a lot of money and a guaranteed contract. If you look at every move individually, it makes sense for the player and their family if they want to make money and have job security. The problem is that the way MLS is set up, these players at best stagnate and at worst, regress in their technical skills. MLS with their very low salary cap keeps the overall quality and competition for jobs minimal. But with their DP and now, HGP, rules, they can overpay for any American player with name recognition and they have done so.

Morris spending 1-2 years at Seattle then moving makes sense, he is only 22. But if he is any good, MLS will never let him leave. They will demand too much in a transfer fee and he will be stuck here. Wynalda said that MLS has cause the cancellation of 226 transfers in this way.

If MLS is going to get better and become a top league, then the overall quality of the player has to get better. The salary cap has to quadruple at least to even get close to Liga MX. Having 3 guys, most over 33, of quality on a team of 11 is just not good for those 3. Especially, as Marquez and others have shown, sometimes they are here to party and not work all that hard.

MLS development academies could be a key for the future of the USMNT; but right now, MLS overpaying to bring almost the whole USMNT back to MLS has hurt things. Greg is one of the few media guys to say this, takes guts.

Having a strong domestic league has not led to World Cup success for England. Nor has it stopped Brazil. The key is to have most of your players on Champions League knock-out quality clubs.

soccer boy said...

They should demand the best price for a great player. You don't think south american clubs don't do that? Non issue. Bradley came for money but also to rasie his family close to home. Plus hezls been in europe since he was 16-17. Hadn't found a club to stay at and left. Dolo became the "mayor" at hannover 96 and found a reason to stay. Success and happiness leads to longer stays in europe. Listen to Genvinco interview on espn fc. He said he scored many goals because he was happy. You can compete and be happy. You compete and aren't happy about your situation you may want to leave.
Morris is mls 3.0. Somebody who grew up around the club with his father being team doctor. Was a fan of the club. Why is it so hard for people. To except that he wanted to be a sounder since he was a kid? You have kids who grow up wanting to be yankees, redwings, cowboys and lakers because it's their hometown club. Ones pride in hometown does breed the want to be apart of something bigger than you locally.

Dr.Jon said...

"Morris is mls 3.0."
I thought the same thing. This is the first(?) player we have saying, I grew up watching the Sounders, they are my home team and I wanted to represent them. That said, I think playing for Werder Bremen, training there with them, even playing in 2 Bundesliga he would emerge a better overall player than training and playing in MLS. That is just the reality of those leagues, right now.

dikranovich said...

I guess all the go to Europe to better yourself contingent will be happy to know Lynden gooch has been loaned to Doncaster and is in their starting lineup today, against fleetwood Mac town. He is paired with Andy Williams, who must be close to 50, but it's league one, aka, the third division in England.

The door is opened up a little in French league 2 for bobo and Le Havre. What a big game they have on Monday, and a win will get them within four points of second. More big games to come for this team in the coming weeks.