More Like Michael BALDley. ZING!

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Written By Chris Azzopardi

The vaunted promise land for yanks abroad has long been England’s premier league. Culturally it’s the obvious choice. They speak the same language, they are equally enthralled with pointless reality television, and the national cuisine is just as mediocre. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s the best football league on the planet from top to bottom. The dream of most American soccer players is to one day play in the premiership, and often the first step to realizing that dream is to go on loan to an English side and hopefully impress the staff. Here USMNT players Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, and Tim Howard speak on the unique pressure of playing on loan in England.

In Michael Bradley’s case, despite an up and down loan spell at Aston Villa this past season, it seems to have all worked out. Rumor has it he will sign a permanent deal for the club; a (possibly) great move for Bradley as he jumps from a bottom feeder in the German Bundesliga, Borussia Monchengladbach, to a team challenging for European competition in the Premiership.

It doesn’t always work out so well. Oguchi Onyewu’s nightmare stint at Newcastle in 2007 comes to mind. Gooch did all but cross his own name off the transfer list of many Pemiership clubs, and is only just now finding regular first team football again with FC Twente in the Netherlands. Due to the makeup of most American players abroad (young, talented, underdeveloped), we will continue to see a large amount of yanks on loan to all parts of Europe. The outcome of their careers often depend on how they perform under the unique pressure of being on loan. We are not yet in an era where an American is bought from the MLS for 10 million dollars as a finished product.

But maybe we’re getting close. Until then, the pressure is still on young players to preform as borrowed goods.

 

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