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But will they play?

With the success seen at the Confederations cup European clubs have shown an increased interest in acquiring US players. Center Back Oguchi Onyewu made the jump from Standard Liege to Serie A powerhouse AC Milan. Charlie Davies has left his Swedish club Hammarby IF for French side FC Sochaux-Montbeliard. Jozy Altidore is rumored be sent to Olympiacos for a one year loan. English Premier league side Everton FC has signed unknown Anton Peterlin from what amounts to a fourth tier club; the Ventura County Fusion of the USL Premier League. All of these changes represent what should be a positive move for all of the players concerned, however we need to look at other issues.

If the players are on the bench, then the moves become just geographical. Davies shouldn’t have any trouble getting time on the pitch, but the other players may not be as fortunate. Onyewu was getting sufficient playing time with Standard Liege, but who could fault him with a dream Move to AC Milan. The hope is that he will acquire the skills he needs to move up to that next level. After a failed loan to Newcastle United we can hope that Gooch is mindful of the mistakes he made in that 2007 season and will not repeat now that he is with a top flight club. Much like an unknown actress nominated for an Academy award; Peterlin is just happy to be there at Everton.

Playing time is not impossible to come by. Clint Dempsey has had several successful starts with Fulham, and Brian McBride before him was a regular in the starting line up at Craven Cottage. The US has had several goalies that have went on to play for several top clubs in Europe; but at other positions which are considered to be more skilled the US has had less success. Brian McBride has proven that you don’t have to be the most talented player, but you have to at least be a hard worker. That attitude propelled McBride to the captaincy at Fullham in 2007.

A lack of playing time keep even the most skilled player from developing. The players on the US squad have learned that if they don’t get playing time with their clubs, then they will not be ready for international matches. The most successful players on the US team are the ones that play with clubs in Europe. The MLS is not competitive enough to help the US team compete on a world stage. What US players need to remember is that the view from the bench in any location is still the view from the bench. The truth is if the MLS were competitive, then David Beckham would not have spent the last six months with AC Milan.

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