Yanks Abroad are reporting that Clint Dempsey was issued a UK work permit today and that would appear to clear the way for his $4 million transfer to EPL club Fulham. The move would come after MLS already turned down an offer from Fulham that came during the 2006 season, which resulted in Dempsey being less than thrilled with the league.
Now that the deal appears to be happening, and the price tag has gone up considerably from where it was reported to be only a few months ago, it will be interesting to see if Dempsey's feelings for MLS have changed at all.
It will also be interesting to see how Dempsey does across the pond. Of late, the US has been able to export goalkeepers (Kasey Keller, Brad Friedal, Tim Howard, and Marcus Hahnemann), defenders (Oguchi Onyewu, Jonathan Spector, Frankie Simek, Carlos Bocanegra, and Jay DeMerit), and target forwards (Brian McBride). However, there have been few Americans that have moved abroad and found success with the type of skill game that Dempsey brings to the table.
Claudio Reyna and John Harkes may be the most creative Americans to find success abroad, but even they were more role players in Europe than they were goal producers.
Dempsey isn't a young Landon Donovan or a crazy Clint Mathis and he is going to a club that already has two Americans on it. And those are good things as the hopes of young skilled players such as Josmer Altidore and Freddy Adu might have their future career paths made easier or harder based on how Dempsey does in England.
Personally, I can't wait to see what happens.
US Men's National Team to host Guatemala at Pizza Hut Park
Carlos Ruiz will certainly know the lay of the land as he faces the US Men's National Team, along with the rest of the Guatemalan National Team, on Wednesday, March 28th at 9pm ET at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas.
This is the third friendly that the US Men's National Team has scheduled for 2007. They will face Denmark in 10 days and then Mexico on February 7th.
The US is also expected to announce a friendly on March 25th. The two games so close to each other might be a prelude to the decision that Bob Bradley and Peter Nowak will make with regards to preparing for the CONCACAF Gold Cup and Copa America which will take place in a very tight timeframe this summer.
Rhinos announce first player combine of 2007
If you think you have what it takes to play for the Rhinos in 2007 or you need a Rhinos fix during the offseason, the Rhinos are planning on having a player combine from January 30th through February 2nd at the Total Sports Experience in Gates.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, and not necessarily those of the Rochester Rhinos or SoccerSam.com. Feel free to send any comments or complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org. James promises to read (but not to respond) to all of them.