Name That Player: An American influence

Name That Player: An American influence

European Soccer

Name That Player: An American influence

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It’s time for a little quiz. Name the two male soccer players who have played high school and college soccer in the United States and currently lead their professional first-division leagues in scoring.

Think you know the answer?

If you said Landon Donovan, who leads MLS in goals with 16, then you are wrong. Donovan never played a minute of college soccer.

There are two players who qualifying for the distinction, though one shouldn’t be a surprise to those of you who follow CONCACAF Abroad. If you said Darryl Roberts, the Trinidad & Tobago striker and former Liberty University standout who is in a multi-way tie for the Turkish First Division lead in goals with two, you are right. If the name sounds familiar to Toronto FC fans it is because Roberts was a supplemental draft pick in 2007 for TFC before he chose to go to Dutch club Sparta Rotterdam.

So who is the other player? The answer might surprise you, but maybe not as much as the league the player plays in:

Vedad_ibisevic_reuters

The players is Vedad Ibisevic and the former St. Louis University standout is currently tied for the German Bundesliga lead in goals with four. The Hoffenheim striker has been red-hot this season for the newly-promoted squad.

For a little background, Ibisevic spent two years playing high school soccer in St. Louis after his family moved here from Bosnia after a brief stop in Switzerland. After a stellar freshman season at St. Louis University, Ibisevic signed with French club Paris St. German and bounced around Europe before settling at Hoffenheim, which he helped gain promotion last season.

Those of you wondering whether he could have played for the United States can relax. Ibisevic was on the Bosnia-Herzegovina radar for some time, having played for it’s U-21 squad in early 2004. He made his debut for the Bosnian national team in March of 2007.

Whether we’re talking Ibisevic or Roberts, it is interesting to think of the kind of talent that is playing in this country right now that could emerge elsewhere as stars years from now.

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