USMNT: Five Players Who Could Use a Move to MLS
While Major League Soccer players are on their offseason and thinking about the successes that may await them from taking a risk and taking their talents to distant shores, there are others who were once in that same position, but are now looking for a way to get their careers back on track.
Returning to MLS may not be the first choice option for some players, it has been an option for many players in the past. Just within the last year and a half the likes of Eddie Johnson, Freddy Adu, Edson Buddle, and Ricardo Clark have gone from US internationals to USMNT coach after thoughts.
For some who have come back home it has worked wonders. Eddie Johnson is back in contention for not just a spot on the USMNT team, but a starting spot. With the Seattle Sounders he has been red-hot in front of goal, scoring 14 and finishing 6th in the league in scoring.
On the hand it has yet to pay off for Edson Buddle. Coming back to a loaded LA Galaxy attack looked too good to be true for the forward. However, he failed to impress when played and by the MLS Cup Bruce Arena had opted for Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan up top. He will hope to play a much bigger role in 2013.
So who are the players that could use a move to MLS for the 2013 season? Here is a look to who should be hinting to their agents to make a few calls.
Robbie Findley – 27 years old, Forward, Nottingham Forest (Gillingham on loan)
The form that saw him score nearly once in every three games for Real Salt Lake has failed to follow the forward to England. With just 3 goals in 25 appearances for Nottingham Forest he was loaned to Gillingham for more first team appearances. This move has only resulted in 7 more appearances and he has yet to score.
There are a number of teams that could use a speedy forward to lead their offense. Real Salt Lake is retooling after failing to return to MLS Cup with their long time core. Colorado decided not to resign long time leading scorer Conor Casey. If any team will pick him up, however, they will need to go through Portland. When Findley decided not to resign with Salt Lake after the 2010 season, Portland picked him in the expansion draft to hold his rights in the future. The Timbers could use a speedy forward to go along with Kris Boyd, or could use him as trading bait to bring other pieces in their rebuilding process under their new manager.
Jonathan Bornstein – 27 years old, Defender, UANL
The outside back long profited from former USMNT manager Bob Bradley’s questionable belief in him. When every fan of the red, white, and blue wanted him as far away from the starting lineup he kept showing up. He moved to UANL in Mexico after the 2010 MLS season and has been limited in his playing time since. With just 9 appearances in the three seasons with the Mexican side, they transfer listed the American in November signaling the end of his tenure at the Monterrey area club. The question will be if he stays in Mexico or looks to move elsewhere.
Bornstein is another player that the Portland Timbers took a chance on grabbing the rights to in their expansion draft. That gamble might pay off if Bornstein decides it is time to return to the States. Portland could certainly use the help in defense, but Bornstein can also be used as a defensive midfielder. If his services aren’t needed in the Pacific Northwest a return to Chivas could be a possibility. Toronto may also be in the running as Bornstein could fit in well with the three at the back they have been experimenting with.
Michael Orozco Fiscal – 26 years old, Defender, San Luis
The center back made it very clear that MLS is where he wants to play. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like MLS is really all that interested. After a year with the Philadelphia Union Orozco Fiscal found Peter Nowak less than helpful in working out a permanent deal. He has seen some playing time with San Luis, but doesn’t seem like either side are excited about the other one.
It seems that Orozco Fiscal will be heading to Puebla on loan in 2013, which means MLS is out of the question in the January transfer window, but keep an eye out on a summer return to the league. As mentioned before MLS is where the defender wants to be and it is merely a matter of time before it happens. Klinsmann has faith in the back with definite passing ability and many MLS sides could use a central defender with his poise. It is hard to know who will be in the market come the summer, but he is a player that could slot into a number of sides.
Conor Doyle – 21 years old, Forward, Derby County
The 6 foot 2 striker has never featured in MLS having joined Derby County from Creighton University (only having played in spring friendlies for the college). His first season saw 15 appearances for the Rams, but his sophomore season saw only 6 appearances, mainly due to injuries. He has also played in midfield. Manager Nigel Clough has said this season will be the make it or break it year for the 21-year-old forward. With only 2 appearances so far in the season Derby may look to offload the striker for something in return before his contract runs out in the summer.
Doyle has yet to really prove himself as a professional striker, but he does have youth national team experience that many MLS managers hold in high regard. Sides like the Philadelphia Union, Chivas USA, and Colorado Rapids are all in need of a big forward. It should also be mentioned that Doyle is a Texas native. He is a product of the Dallas Texans Soccer Club that has produced other players such as Clint Dempsey, Brek Shea, and Omar Gonzalez to name a few. Could his connection with Brek Shea increase the FC Dallas coaching staff to pursue the forward? Or could Houston find themselves interested in the forward if Brian Ching retires or Will Bruin goes overseas?
Robbie Rogers – 25 years old, Midfielder/Forward, Leeds United (Stevenage on loan)
For four years Rogers was a central piece in the Columbus Crew attack. His dangerous runs not only brought him the attention of the USMNT, but also earned him a contract with Leeds United. The Championship side was not able use his services much his first season in England as injuries limited the time he was available. Once returning to the team for the 2012-13 season it seems that new manager Neil Warnock is not as impressed with the American as the manager that brought in to Elland Road. He was transfer listed over the summer and loaned to Stevenage until January. It is highly likely he will be moving on from Leeds in the new year.
Rogers is a player that most teams in the league would be interested in should he sign a deal with the league in January. Teams finishing at the bottom of the tables in the season that just completed would get first shot at him through the allocation draft, but could end up being used as trade bait like Eddie Johnson was by Montreal a year ago. Of those two possibilities the more likely is an Eddie Johnson style deal. There are some questions as to Rogers health since his two injuries last season. A chance at multiple healthy pieces that could start for a struggling side could be too much to pass on in exchange for Rogers.