U.S. Men's National Team

European clubs eyeing Clark and Davies

Charlie Davies (ISIphotos.com) 

                                                                               Photo by ISIphotos.com


When the U.S. national team closed out its historic run in the Confederations Cup on Sunday, one got the sense that it would only be a matter of time before European suitors came calling for some of the team's key contributors.

It only took one day.

Midfielder Ricardo Clark and forward Charlie Davies, two of the U.S. team's standout players in the tournament, received interest from European clubs almost immediately following the conclusion of the Confederations Cup final, where the U.S. fought valiantly before giving up a two goal lead and falling, 3-2, to five-time world champions Brazil.

Clark, who enjoyed a stellar tournament despite missing one game to suspension, is being linked with Rennes. The Houston Dynamo midfielder's agent revealed that the French club has inquired about Clark.

Although negotiations are probably in the early stages, if Clark does depart from MLS to Rennes, he would join U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra, who signed with the club last summer.

While Clark is trying to latch onto his first European club, Davies is attempting to make the jump to a bigger one. Davies, who currently plies his trade in Sweden with Hammarby IF, scored the opener in the United States' 3-0 victory over Egypt, and was a starter for the remainder of the tournament. Davies' speed and nose for goal have reportedly drawn interest from clubs in Germany, Holland and France.

What do you think of the European interest? Would you like to see Clark join Bocanegra at Rennes? What league/team would be an ideal move for Davies?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Danny

    This is great news, but the main question is will they get minutes…I don’t want to see our American players sitting on the benchs or stands like most of them are doing right now


  • JB

    Clark, Torres, and the other central midfielders can do the math. There are likely only going to be 5 central midfielders going to the World Cup. The ones that make quality moves to Europe this transfer window will have greatly enhanced their chances of being one of those 5.


  • gel65

    Ives,I have heard many rumors concerning many of our players but not a one for Landon.Have you heard anything on a possible offer or destination for him.It almost seems like hes being black balled because of his failed experiences in Germany.Any info?I hope MLS will be reasonable with his transfer fee after all hes done for them and USA Soccer,


  • Chase


    Your EJ to Davies comparison is miles off and is without basis after his Confed Cup performances. That is why no one other than you has made this comparison…

    To me, the kid exhibited sufficient tactical acumen and skill when he worked the counter with Donovan that gave us the 2-0 lead. That was a play EJ would have never been able to executem against a CONCACAF opponent, let alone Brazil.

    Stuff your pessimism…


  • TR

    There might be a number of midfielders but they must do different things. Clark is not competing against Torres–they have different roles. Clark is competing against guys like Edu. This is a prime time for Clark to impress with Edu’s injury and Mastroeni’s decline.

    For those of us who remember, we probably miss the Mastroeni of 2001-2005. While I think he is out of the picture, let’s be polite in comparing Clark to Mastroeni. In terms of what they have given the national team over the years, it is Mastroeni who is miles ahead of Clark. Let’s see if Clark can close the gap.


  • BossTweed


    I also think the EJ comparison is a little off, but I think it’s silly to use his one assist as evidence to the contrary. Davies’ first touch is terrible; probably the worst on the field the last two games save Clark. The pass to Donovan was absolutely perfect and could not have been in a better spot by an inch, but he had many more opportunities to do that in that game and failed in all of them. For the record, I like Davies and think if he develops a better first touch he will be a very good contributor for us up top. His speed is at least as good as EJ’s and his confidence to shoot on goal is already miles ahead of where EJ ever was. Nevertheless, I don’t think it’s off base to be skeptical of his prospects from what we’ve seen.


  • BrianK


    Way off on Davies and EJ comparison. Don’t see it at all.

    Clark, IMHO, is better than average. Bradley, Torres and Feilhaber do not have his range and against teams that can push the ball around (Spain, Brazil, Italy, etc.) you need a player who can pound blades of grass. I have not been able to watch all that much of Edu at this level to know where he fits in,…but that remains to be determined.


  • Jim

    Pretty strong rumors out there that David Moyes is trying to sign Michael Bradley for Everton.


  • Sushant Rao

    Here’s my wish list for destinations:

    Gooch: Arsenal – they suck in the air, especially defending against set pieces. I can’t remember if it was Hull or Stoke City that beat them early in the EPL 1-0, but it was Arsenal’s weakness in the air that did them in. Plus he’s shown that he can defend Torres :-)

    DeMerit: Everton – he know Timmy and I believe Man City has put out a bid for Lescott. So, there’s a spot open for him

    Davies: Hoeffenheim in Bundesliga. The coach there play an attacking style with lots of passing and pressing of the other team. Sounds like the right philosophy for Davies

    Landon: I think La Liga would be the best bet but where? I think a team with 2 good forwards and is looking for someone to set them up might be a good option. Atletico Madrid might be a good fit.

    Clark: I have no clue where he’s be a good fit.


  • Erik, NYC

    USMNT will not get beyond the scrappy/hard-working/underdog level, until it’s players start playing in the world’s best leagues (La Liga, Premiership, Serie A). This is the case for most/all of Top-10 FIFA teams. A smaller team in these leagues should be the goal for our guys, so that they can play/compete/practice with the best players in the world.


  • Francesco, Firenze - Italia

    I am an Italian boy and I wanted to make my compliments to the U.S. National Team.

    I am a fan of Fiorentina (Serie A – the team of Felipe Melo, Adrian Mutu, Alberto Gilardino, Riccardo Montolivo, Seba Frey)

    I think that some players could play in Europe
    perhaps in teams that disputed Europa League (formerly the UEFA CUP)
    France, Scotland, Ireland, England championships could be more suitable.

    Sorry for my little english ;)


  • K1p

    As a Dynamo supporter, I’ve watched Clarke mature into the player everyone saw in SA. I would hate to see him leave Houston for a team where he would get no pt. It would be better to stay for awhile and show the world what kind of player he is in the qualifiers ahead and next year in SA. He is quickly becoming the best defender on the USMNT.


  • papa bear

    Great news if they both move.

    Clark is a very good d-mid, very underrated. We’ve played our best matches when he is out there. I’m actually kinda surprised there isn’t some Bundesliga interest in him as he has the kinda tenacity a lower table club could use.

    Davies should absolutely go to Bundesliga or Holland. (preferably Bundesliga–Wolfsburg is gonna be looking for strikers soon and it’s not like they are stacked with talent like a Bayern, Hamburg, Dortmund or Schalke are gonna be, he’d actually get a better chance to play.)
    I like him paired up with Altidore FAR more than Ching. Davies actually does this thing called ‘attacking’ every now and then which Ching completely ignores.
    Davies still needs some work on passing and decision making but those are things that could be polished up well in Bundesliga as he will learn to pass quickly and smartly or he’ll learn his physical therapist’s life story quick as he’ll be on his table everyday as he will get absolutely murdered if he doesn’t in BL.1)


  • PetedeLA

    I’ve watched the Bundesliga consistently for the past 9 years. I don’t think Davies is good enough. When compared to the Brazilians or Eastern Europeans or Africans, his lack of true skill will show. He’s better off in Holland, Scotland, or maybe Denmark.


  • RLW2020

    @Sushant Roe
    i like Davies at Hoffenheim. i have only heard little about the style of play there but it did sound like a good fit for davies. not that this is really related but they made Vedad (from STL) Ibisevic a star quickly.

    as far as Gooch and Demeritt at Arsenal and Everton… ya that would be sick.


  • Scott A

    Hi Francesco, thanks for the support. Now that the US isn’t playing Italy I can also wish the best of luck to the Azzurri ;)
    It’s trust…most of our players are at the level where getting consistent playing time at non-Champions League clubs would be better.
    Perhaps we’ll see Onyewu at your team


  • Paul, North Jersey

    Well, I’m a little leary. They’re getting playing time where they are, and are also performing well for us. I don’t want them to go to some “higher profile” European club, ride pine, and turn into another Beasley or Adu. I think they should both weigh these moves very carefully and inquire very directly as to what these club’s plans are with them. They’re not desparate.

    Posted by: TimN | June 29, 2009 at 12:28 PM

    Werd. World cup is next year. Stay where you can get playing time.


  • Keith G.

    With Clark I think him going to Rennes would be a great move for him. Go to a team in a top notch league, on a team that finished 7th, and with some new additions could be a team qualifying for the Europa League for 2010-2011 season. Plus it would be easier for him to fit in with fellow American Bocanegra who is a great leader, has a the experience and could really help Clark become a great player.

    As for Davies I think if he could he should choose to go to the Bundesliga. I would love to see him go to one of three teams… Monchengladbach (to team with Bradley), Werder Bremen (a great team that finished poorly and develop him the best) and lastly would be Stuttgart, a team that lost their top striker in Mario Gomez, and need a striker, and is also looking at the Champions League. I also think that maybe Hoffenhheim could be a good team to go to and become a leader for. Who ever he goes to though would be a step up from Sweeden, and would make him an even better player.


  • Francesco - Firenze, Italia

    @Scott A.

    You are right.
    Some newspapers have reported that Fiorentina was interested in Onyewu.

    I think that some U.S. players can play in Europe, it is important to make experience. But it is pointless to go to a team like Barcelona and maybe watch a lot of matches from the gallery. Better to play for a team that dispute the Europa League as the holder.


  • Gino

    What I have read above and what we all agree on is that our players need playing time but they are caught in a tough position. If they are not getting the technical training they need but are getting the playing time, should they risk going to a better club where they SHOULD get what they lack but possibly not get the playing time to practice their skills?

    It is an interesting problem that our players face. Adu, Altidore as well as some others who have gone are having this problem. Yes, our players get plenty of playing time in the MLS but they need better training. Our league is getting better every year but our players cannot wait.

    What leagues are the best for our players? Gooch, well he has definately gotten better and needs to move to a top notch team. His height and physical build would be great in Germany or England. He is still a good buy.

    Beasley, well I believe we have gotten all that we can. I am no longer impressed nor have been for a long time.

    Clark, has room to grow and has grown. He needs a strong physical league to booster where he lacks, physical strength.

    Donovan, well England would do him good for the same reason but I wonder, is he shown as being as good since he plays in the MLS and on the MNT where the talent is not quite as good? Is that why he just does not do as well in Europe? He is a great player but maybe just not THAT great.

    Our players need playing time and great coaches. If they can get that, then sacrifice the pay for 2-3 years to obtain their next level. The doors will open wide afterwards.


  • MarcoSRFC


    I am a supporter of Rennes.
    When Carlos Bocanegra arrived last year, we had doubts about him, because he is quite slow, but after a few games he got better and better and showed he had skills other than speed that justified he started and played every game in le last season :
    I don’t know if Clark and or Davies will rejoin Carlos in Rennes, but if they do, they will find an ambitious club with an ambitious coach, Frédéric Antonetti, the new coach of Rennes, who loves “nice game”, with “one touch passes”(I hope you understand what I mean, I don’t know the english technical vocabular) and “placed attacks”.
    Anyway, the more american players will go to Europe, the more US soccer will gain benefit.
    I think that you have in mind “bad examples”, like Edu in Monaco, because there are not yet so many american players in Europe, but the more there will be, the better it will be.
    Years ago it was the same in France when the best french players started to go to Italy, England, Germany and Spain.
    Some “burned their wings” because of bad choices, but I think France wouldn’t have been world champion in 1998 otherwise.
    See how many played abroad : http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Équipe_de_France_de_football_à_la_coupe_du_monde_1998

    Congratulations to your national team and happy holidays to Carlos !

    Greetings from Rennes.


  • beronica

    I think the best move for Davies is Germany and France because of his speed and scoring goals and if theirs any chance for him moving to a English club it would be better


  • Mike

    Players should go to leagues that fit their playing styles and would help them get playing time. Clark’s defensive capabilities make him a good fit for Ligue 1 at Rennes, but not Davies. The French Ligue is where offensive players go to die. It’s also why Adu was a horrible fit at Monaco (because while he was sent there to develop his defense, it was perceived that he was still not strong enough to play). Maybe Adu is a better defensive player now, but I wouldn’t know because he’s not on the field.

    If you’re going to send Davies anywhere, send him to Holland. The Dutch game is wide open and he will get ample opportunities to prove himself. If Michael Bradley can score 16 goals in one season as a midfielder in the Eredivisie, then Davies should be fine.

    If U.S. fans want to see Americans play in Europe (and developing their game), send them to a place where their game fits the style of play. Clark will undoubtedly develop at Rennes as would Davies in Holland. If they play well after a couple of years, there will be plenty of teams in Europe that will come calling, just as they did after the Confed Cup.


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