Things are starting to heat up now that the summer transfer window has opened so I thought I’d share my views on a few of the moves that have been made and a few that appear to be…impending. Let’s start with the man in the picture above, young Clinton Drew Dempsey of Nagadoches, TX. At this point it looks like his move from Fulham to Liverpool is all but done and while it is quite an achievement for both Dempsey and for U.S. soccer in general, I do have some misgivings. Specifically, two things about this transfer trouble me. First, the club is in such turmoil that I don’t think there’s any guarantee- even with the addition of Dempsey- that they will qualify for Europe. Second, while I truly believe Deuce is good enough to make the starting 11 at Anfield, the “political situation” at the club makes me wonder whether the starting 11 is based on merit or another agenda entirely. Best of luck to him…
Michael Bradley: Chievo Verona to Roma
As I said a few weeks ago, this is the biggest Serie A “event” ever to involve an American. Bradley excelled at Chievo, Roma chased him for months, and Bradley has once and for all put to bed any rumors about nepotism having more to do with his success than talent. Here’s a question for you: has any American player ever improved more in a single season abroad than Michael Bradley?
Jerry Bengston: C.D. Montagua (Honduras) to New England Revolution
I still think the club should have spent its DP money on a defender, but based on Bengston’s substitute appearance on Sunday night, the kid is a player. He scored a goal and had two other close calls. I don’t know if his pipe cleaner like build is going to hold up over the long haul, but that’s what strength coaches and protein shakes are for.
Steven Naismith, Steven Whittaker, Steve Davis, Kyle Lafferty, & Jamie Ness: Rangers F.C. to…
All five refused to allow their contracts to be transferred to the Rangers “newco” and signed on with other clubs. Charles Green- who purchased the remnants of the former Rangers F.C.- claims that he owns their contracts and is trying to block the moves. There’s not a chance that’s going to happen- they’ll play on temporary clearances from FIFA while the issue goes to a court of some kind, Green will lose, the end. You can probably add some more names to this list: Maurice Edu, Carlos Bocanegra, and Alejandro Bedoya for a start.
Charlie Davies: F.C. Souchaux-Montbeliard to Randers F.C.
The only thing I have to say about this move is that I hope that we are able to look back at it and call it a “rebound” year. The year Davies got regular first team football again, found his scoring touch, got back into the USMNT and earned a transfer to a bigger league and a bigger club. You’re a Granite Stater, Charlie, show it!
Terrence Boyd: Borussia Dortmund II to Rapid Vienna
Jerome Kiesewetter: Hertha BSC II to VfB Stuttgart
Joseph-Claude Gyau: 1899 Hoffenheim II to 1899 Hoffenheim
All of these American-Germans/German-Americans/Americans playing in Germany or German-speaking countries have taken a step up in quality over the summer. Boyd has moved to a big club in a smaller league, but one where he should face good competition and play in Europe. Kiesewetter and Gyau have moved from reserve sides to senior sides. Let’s hope Herr Doktor Klinsmann has his eyes on all of them.
Frederick Kanoute, Seydou Keita, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, and Didier Drogba: To various Chinese clubs
I can only assume that China has replaced the U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia as the place that you go for a few years and a lot of very easy money. Well, as long as they can sleep at night…I guess.