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Which U.S. players should switch Europe for MLS?

Jul 2, 2013, 1:45 PM EDT

Aston Villa v Bolton Wanderers - Carling Cup Third Round Getty Images

Some argue that should never return to places where you’ve succeeded in the past.

Well, a few national teamers have returned to MLS after excelling in North America in the past.

So, after US national team defenders Carlos Bocanegra and Clarence Goodson arrived back in MLS this week — after spending several seasons overseas in England, Scotland, Spain, Norway and Denmark collectively — can they excel and become regular starters in Jurgen Klinsmann’s side?

Only time will tell.

But let’s take a quick look at three current fringe US national team players who should switch back to Major League Soccer from Europe, to help reignite their USMNT careers.

Stuart Holden

He excelled at Bolton before his horrific injury at Old Trafford curtailed his fledgling EPL career. But all hope is not lost for the 27-year-old midfielder. Holden can show just how good he is with a likely starting spot for the USMNT in the Gold Cup this summer. And instead of languishing with Bolton in the Championship, Stu should return to MLS and show everyone just how good he is. I think his stock with the US national team will rise if he does.

Alejandro Bedoya

Okay, so after Glasgow Rangers’ demise, Bedoya has been hung out to dry a little. But even though the former Boston College attacked never made it to MLS, he should ply his trade back in the USA. A short-term deal looks to be coming to a close with Helsingborgs and Bedoya has been in incredible form since re-joining the Swedish outfit. At the age of 26, Bedoya’s next move will make or break his international career. Expect interest to pour in after a solid Gold Cup campaign.

Maurice Edu

Yes, Maurice has had his struggles over the past few years in a US jersey. But the 27-year-old is bouncing from club to club over in Europe without finding much of a home. Edu should return and dominate the midfield in MLS, just like he did during his rookie season. With Jermaine Jones not getting any younger, Edu could put up a serious challenge for that “destroyer” role in the US national team midfield. Which MLS sides would take him? Plenty. But maybe he should find out what the deal is at Stoke first, it has to be better for him with Mark Hughes in charge than it was when Tony Pulis was at the helm.

  1. dws110 - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    Oh thank you so much for that, now I’m going to spend all July pining for Holden in rave green. Yeah, thanks.

  2. charliej11 - Jul 2, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    The problem is money.

    If you were to ask, should Holden play for Houston under Dom or anywhere else for anyone else, you pick Kinnear…or you shedule your brain surgery to help you out of your misery.

    The problem is money.

  3. joeyt360 - Jul 2, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    A Holden one-year loan would have been a good idea LAST YEAR, when an MLS team could have afforded to inch him in. This season, I think he’s either good enough to stay at Bolton, with whom an MLS team couldn’t compete for salary, or else he’s damaged goods that an MLS team wouldn’t want to pay real money for.

    • mvktr2 - Jul 2, 2013 at 10:10 PM

      I appreciate the thought but the opposite is also quite true. You can’t afford to ‘inch in’ high dollar players, which Stu would fall under, in MLS with the pressure of the salary cap.

      • joeyt360 - Jul 9, 2013 at 4:52 PM

        Loans don’t usually work that way. Partial salary arrangements are usually made. DC United paid Charlie Davies $200k of his $800k salary, for instance.

  4. franco7788 - Jul 2, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    The last two names on the list are understood but putting Holden on the list is quite silly.

    You say- “And instead of languishing with Bolton in the Championship, Stu should return to MLS and show everyone just how good he is. I think his stock with the US national team will rise if he does.”

    1. Considering the MLS is compared to the Championship in terms of standard of play, how is that languishing?
    2. Considering the wages offered in the Championship are greater overall than the MLS, how would that be languishing?
    3. Considering Bolton(after a poor start) ended the season competing for a playoff spot and in 7th place, how would that be languishing?

    Next season, Holden will be earning more than he could expect to earn in MLS(DPlayer salary), competing and probably playing for Bolton and helping them push for promotion. As long as he shows he is fit and able and gets the chance to play regular week in week out matches(having a pre-season with the team will help) then that’s a big fail putting him on this list. I’m sure his stock with the national team will rise as long as he plays week in and week out with Bolton IN the Championship.

    Now, what you should’ve done(or can still do) is substitute Holden with Onyewu and that would make sense.
    No other U.S. player in Europe needs a move to the MLS more than Onyewu right now imo. The word languishing you used is most apt to describe Onyewu’s time with his last 3 or so clubs. He has made a fair bit of coin. He’s been in Europe for about a decade now and has no doubt increased his bank account. Now he’s approaching the downside of the career and with only one world cup left that he could possibly play in, there would be no better time than now(or the winter window prior to the 2014 MLS season) to make the move to MLS and DC United would be the natural option and fit(and his preference). Allocation taken into account, I’m sure DC United and the league would do what’s needed to be done to make that happen if Onyewu wanted it to happen.

    Playing week in and week out in the MLS would be more beneficial to him especially with Klinsmann, than barely making the bench at Malaga or whichever European team he gets loaned out to next season.

    • mvktr2 - Jul 2, 2013 at 10:11 PM


  5. bellerophon30 - Jul 4, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    The one on this list that makes the most sense is Mo Edu, who badly needs to play somewhere regularly. Does Toronto still have his rights?

    With Stu, I agree with the above post that details just how bad for him a retro move for him would be. Taking less money for less competition isn’t what is going to put him in Brazil next year. He and Danny Williams will be interesting test cases for how Jurgen views the Championship.

    With Bedoya……..well is MLS better than the Swedish top division? Include his form and probably low transfer fee, and he’ll be sought after by other European clubs. He needs a good move, continued form, and at least one injury to put him in Brazil.

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