Skip to content

What are MLS clubs getting from loan assignments?

Dec 18, 2012, 11:14 AM EST

Cardiff City v West Ham United-Npower Championship-Playoff Semi Final 1st leg Getty Images

As we knock around the possibilities of loans for MLS men, something gets lost in the discourse: What, exactly, does this do for MLS clubs?

I know it’s exciting for supporters to see their club’s main men linked, if only for 6 or 8 weeks, to storied clubs with 120 of history and such, teams playing in Euro leagues of plenty. Heck, we get a little spring in our step just to hear that someone is training at one of these spots for two weeks.

It serves as some sort of validation, I suppose. “They want our guy? Ooh, how cool!”

I get that.

But when we all take a step back, it’s fair to wonder how the MLS club benefits here?

Younger men on training assignment do get a compressed dose of “something different,” and that’s a good thing. They live and breathe the varied training methods and absorb a feel for the serious professionalism about which pros in other lands go about their daily soccer chores.  That makes sense.

But loan deals for veterans? Case-by-case, these might occasionally make sense. Landon Donovan to Everton two years ago? Thumbs up. Then en route to becoming the U.S. national team’s all-time leading scorer, Donovan got a lot out of his time at Goodison Park, if only in confidence and self-validation that he could pass muster at the very highest level.

The next year’s loan back to the same place? Nah, not so much. Donovan has since said that a second bite off the Everton loan apple was probably ill advised – and there is a perfect illustration of how the value of these things must be measured carefully, individually.

Did Arsenal get something from Thierry Henry’s loan last year? Yes.

Did the Red Bulls? Highly doubtful, beyond a brief PR spike, perhaps.

MLS and the clubs do own the players’ contracts, so they have a right to wonder what benefits may fall their way.

Players do need their rest, after all. Perhaps Jurgen Klinsmann disagrees in the case of players seeking to climb the international rungs, and fair enough. But let’s take a guy like Vancouver Whitecaps and Scottish international striker Kenny Miller, who is what he is at age 32.

So, good on Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie for re-grounding this on-going loan chitchat. In talking about Miller as a potential loan target in January, Rennie essentially said, “What are we getting out of it?”

Exactly.

Said Rennie:

No one has discussed it with me. If there was a case where we were presented with then we would consider that at the time, but generally speaking I don’t really see too much benefit in it.”

Latest Posts
  1. VIDEO — Christian Benteke turns Evans inside out to give Villa a 1-0 lead over Manchester United

    Dec 20, 2014, 12:45 PM EST

    Aston Villa v Manchester United  - Premier League Getty Images

    Benteke dances for space before lashing a curler into the goal to give Villa a 1-0 lead. It’s one of those “Why we watch” goals.

  2. WATCH: Match of the Day – Recap Saturday’s madness in the Premier League

    Dec 20, 2014, 12:40 PM EST

    PremierLeagueNBC

    Match of the Day begins at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Watch it live online, here.

  3. VIDEO: Tottenham Hotspur’s Erik Lamela scores stunning goal

    Dec 20, 2014, 12:34 PM EST

    Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley - Premier League Getty Images

    Watch Lamela scored a stunning strike to give Spurs another win.

  4. After “two points dropped” at Aston Villa, Wayne Rooney says media was driving title talk

    Dec 20, 2014, 12:25 PM EST

    Aston Villa v Manchester United - Premier League Getty Images

    United captain Wayne Rooney wasn’t interested in discussing his club’s failure to keep up with Manchester City.

  5. Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Burnley: Lamela’s stunner seals win for Spurs

    Dec 20, 2014, 12:13 PM EST

    Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley - Premier League Getty Images

    Spurs seal third-straight win in all competitions to move up to sixth.

  6. West Ham United 2-0 Leicester City: Carroll, Downing have Hammers blowing bubbles

    Dec 20, 2014, 12:05 PM EST

    Britain Soccer Premier League AP

    The Foxes are six points back of safety and share the worst goal differential in England’s top flight (minus-14).

  7. Queens Park Rangers 3-2 West Bromwich Albion: Austin the hat trick hero

    Dec 20, 2014, 12:03 PM EST

    Queens Park Rangers v Burnley - Premier League Getty Images

    Incredible comeback from 2-0 down seals yet another home win for QPR.

  8. Aston Villa 1-1 Manchester United: Falcao header equals Benteke’s stunner, 10-man Villans hang on for point

    Dec 20, 2014, 11:52 AM EST

    CORRECTION-FBL-ENG-PR-ASTON VILLA-MAN UTD Getty Images

    United loses ground to No. 2 Manchester City, which trounced Crystal Palace, while Villa grabs its 20th point of the season.

  9. LIVE – Premier League, at the half: Villa lead Manchester United, goals flying in

    Dec 20, 2014, 10:57 AM EST

    Benteke

    It’s half time in the six 10 a.m. ET games in the PL. Here’s what’s going on…

  10. Watch Live: Hull City vs. Swansea City (Lineups and Live Stream)

    Dec 20, 2014, 9:51 AM EST

    George Boyd AP

    Abel Hernandez and Nikica Jelavic will form the Tigers strike force.

  11. Watch Live: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Burnley (Lineups and Live Stream)

    Dec 20, 2014, 9:47 AM EST

    Kane Getty Images

    Can the Clarets upset Spurs at White Hart Lane? Watch live.

  12. Watch Live: Southampton vs. Everton (Lineups and Live Stream)

    Dec 20, 2014, 9:42 AM EST

    Swansea City v Southampton - Premier League Getty Images

    Can the Saints stop their slide against the Toffees? Watch live, here.

  13. Watch Live: West Ham United vs. Leicester City (Lineups and Live Stream)

    Dec 20, 2014, 9:41 AM EST

    West Ham United v Swansea City - Premier League Getty Images

    Andy Carroll starts up top with Diafra Sakho, with Stewart Downing in support.

  14. Watch Live: Aston Villa vs. Manchester United (Lineups and Live Stream)

    Dec 20, 2014, 9:23 AM EST

    Falcao Getty Images

    United looks to keep back with their noisy neighbors this morning on NBCSN.

  15. Raheem Sterling named best young player in Europe, wins ‘Golden Boy’ award

    Dec 20, 2014, 8:11 AM EST

    Source: Liverpool FC Source: Liverpool FC

    Sterling, 20, follows the likes of Rooney, Messi and Aguero after being named the best youngster in European soccer.

Featured video

Man United thrash Liverpool