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The STO Commish Critiques: U.S. Players Playing Elsewhere

About a month back the STO Commish heard some interesting news.  U.S. forward Kenny Cooper signed with German club 1860 Munich.  Cooper’s signing with the club came a few months after starting U.S. defender Oguchi Onyewu signed with Serie A squad AC Milan.  And just a few weeks back Jozy Altidore was transferred to Premier League club, Hull City.

With players like Cooper, Altidore, Onyewu, Howard, Bocanegra, Dempsey, Bradley, and Spector all playing overseas it is hard to think of many great American players that still actually play in America.  In fact on the recent trip to Mexico only 7 of the 22 squad members actively play on an MLS squad.  And the only consistent starter on the squad is (you probably guessed it) star player Landon Donovan.

Unfortunately, the Commish was reading a Serie A site the other week and read that it is very likely that Donovan will be transferring to Italian squad Livorno in January of next year.  So in other words, the best American player in the world not named Guiseppe Rossi (because he left us a long time ago) is on his way out the door too?

Even if such a move was brief, the Commish is left mind blown at the result.  Wasn’t the point in creating the MLS to give America it’s own league?  Now our best players are rushing overseas in flocks to places like England, Italy, and Germany as if they are heading to a David Hasselhoff show or something. 

The Commish thought that if you build it they will come.  Not run away.

Now I understand the other side of the fence.  These other leagues offer the players a global soccer perspective where they play against tough competition from all over the world and in some ways it can help the players train for the World Cup.   But the key side of this argument is the word play.  If you are playing in the league much like Dempsey for Fulham or Tim Howard for Everton is then that’s one thing, but does anyone really think that Gooch will start on D for AC Milan this year?

 The Commish doesn’t mind players going overseas to play.  

Just make sure that in the end, the trip is well worth it.

 You be the Judge.

I’ll just be the Commish.

But I won’t ever look as sweet as Brick-Chiklis did.