June 01, 2017

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 6 comments

If a good MLS starting player transferred to England, what level of club would he be good enough to start for? As someone who watches the MLS and the Championship in England, I find myself pondering this.

I'd like to see data on MLS-to-England and England-to-MLS transfers.

posted by rcade at 11:29 AM on June 01

Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard, Brad Friedel, and Kasey Keller all went from MLS to the Premier League and did well. Jozy Altidore, Eddie Johnson, Michael Bradley (loan to Aston Villa), not so much.

Landon Donovan was a total bust in Germany and there are of course a bunch of German-Americans and Pulisic who never played in MLS but are all starter in the Bundesliga.

Of current young MLS players I've read that Cyle Larin is perhaps going to move to the Premier League this summer and US U-20 striker Josh Sargent will sign for Werder Bremen next winter after turning 18, but not seeing too many other rumors.

I think Jordan Morris, Giovinco, Erick Torres, Walker Zimmerman and maybe a few more could make the squad with at least a bottom half Premier League club.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:40 AM on June 01

Geoff Cameron has had a decent run at Stoke (mid-table to lower-mid-table Premier League team during his time there) as an MLS transfer. Seems to be on the down slope of his career, though, and only appeared in about half of their matches this past season.

As evident from billsaysthis's list, goalkeepers tend to "translate" better than outfield players. Perhaps a better indicator of the level of play in MLS is the "washed up" EPL players who have managed to be reasonably top-tier MLS players (e.g., Robbie Keane, Didier Drogba).

posted by holden at 04:11 PM on June 01

Landon Donovan was a total bust in Germany

To be fair, he was barely 18 at the time and apparently didn't fit in very well. He had a much better time at Everton. Wish we could have kept him for a full season.

posted by yerfatma at 04:41 PM on June 01

The different dominant styles going from MLS-to-PL may be more of a deciding factor. MLS seems closer to the early PL days back in the Nineties.

Back then there was always the talk about Euro imports to English clubs on whether they could stand the physical nature of English football, how the PL was all about direct football and hard tackles. Now MLS seems to have that niche covered. Someone like Tim Cahill can come across and be a dominant player when he's done at Everton as he's still a decent player who happens to be a great fit for MLS football.

Going back the other way the player needs to find the right fit.

posted by deflated at 11:13 AM on June 02

Yerfatma, I was thinking more of his second spell over there which was more a way to move to the LA Galaxy than anything else.

Holden, we could add Bradley Wright-Phillips and Gio Dos Santos to your list.

deflated, I can only think of Jermaine Defoe as one who came and went back successfully ;)

There looks like some hope for better results with the new generation of Americans playing in Europe: Christian Pulisic for sure, Cameron Carter-Vickers looks likely, Emerson Hyndeman had a successful loan in Scotland this season, Josh Sargent will sign for Werder Bremen after turning 18 in the new year, and Jordan Morris seems probably if he continues to grow and has a good showing at Russia '18. Probably at least two more from the U-20 team will make the trip after the tournament too.

Overall, have to agree that on a percentage basis (just counting say youth national team players) the US is not producing anywhere near the level of countries like Chile, Netherlands or Sweden. For now.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:41 AM on June 02

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.