Another U.S. national team midfielder is heading to Europe.
Ricardo Clark has finalized his move to German side Eintracht Frankfurt on Tuesday, agreeing to a deal with the Bundesliga squad for the remainder of the season, with an option to extend the deal through the 2013 season.
Clark left the Houston Dynamo after playing out his MLS contract, ending a seven-year stint in MLS that saw him play for the MetroStars and San Jose Earthquakes before spending four years in Houston after the club formerly known as the Earthquakes made the move. He was a part of two MLS Cup-winning Dynamo teams (though he missed out on the 2007 MLS Cup run while serving a suspension for his infamous kick of Carlos Ruiz).
Clark was added by Frankfurt as cover for injured Bosnian midfielder Zlatan Bajramovic, who is expected to miss the remainder of the current season. Clark will need to work his way back into fitness after being off since November.
Always an athletic force in the middle of the field, Clark's game has matured during his tenure in MLS, with a better understanding of the game and improved ability to read attacks and neutralize dangerous playmakers with his speed and strength, characteristics that should serve him well in Germany.
Is the move a good one for Clark? Considering Eintracht Frankfurt's situation in midfield, Clark will have a good chance to fight for and earn a starting role. He could also work toward impressing prospective clubs if he heads into the summer as a free agent again. With the World Cup looming, Clark will still need to play well this year to secure the type of long-term deal he went into this winter looking for.
The move isn't without risk. If Clark fails to secure a starting job, he could lose ground in the race for playing time on the U.S. World Cup team. With Maurice Edu back to full health and playing for Rangers, and Jermaine Jones lingering as a potential threat at Schalke once he regains health, Clark will need to step his game up at Frankfurt to maintain his regular place alongside Michael Bradley in the U.S. midfield.
Clark and Bradley could do battle on April 10th, when Bradley's Borussia Moenchengladbach faces Eintracht Frankfurt.
What do you think of the move? Like the idea of Clark playing in Germany? Think he should have stayed at Houston another season?
Share your thoughts below.
Another American to a crap squad…Pay up Garber!!!!!!
Why? So MLS can take all the money?
Let’s hope that he can become this:
Agree with Franky. I have not been sold on Clark at the USMNT level to this point. He was not going to get any better in MLS, in my opinion, so it will be interesting to see how he does in Germany.
Tough decision for BB. Hopefully things will settle in camp and he picks the right squad.
Great move for Clark. Hope he see’s the field soon.
Agree with a lot of posters. Our mid field is looking deep.
you got it all mixed up….Bradley is not an attacking mid, the US plays two defensive mids with two wide attacking mids in Dempsey and Donovan
Bradley is either a flat centre mid or a defensive mid, benny feilhaber and torres are centre attacking mids
Jones even pushes up further than Bradley in his natural position
we have great group of players, the question is who will be in form and healthy in june/july. right now it looks like onyewu, davies, dempsey, cooper, jones, edu, johnson or beasley could be almost ready to play in the world cup but not quite in form.. could be an odd roster selection if we have regulars on the bench and a handful of backups on the pitch.
yes! i like this post.
I wish Ricardo Clark all the best in Germany and hoping he plays well!
We actually have guys that can score when playing with a strong solidified midfield… Landon and Jozy can play up top… Stu on the right, Demarcus on the left, Bradley and either Clark, Jones, Edu or Torres in the middle… Benny off the bench, maybe even Freddy if he gets some playing time in Greece and recalls how to play attacking football… Cooper will be back… Eddie Johnson and Robbie Findley can play…Robbie Rogers is also a nice option on the left flank… there are options out there and it looks like Clint will be back anyway…he can certainly play up top and create.
Our players are better than people think…
god i love our depth in the midfield. wish we had that up top…
I think people are discounting the fact that Edu will be included because he can fill in as a central defender as well…he did fairly well at the Olympics last summer. I hope Jones is in the mix… but we can’t be certain… he was to come back two times already this season and also is not happy with the Schalke upper management right now…
Good move. I think the bundesliga fits him well.
He has flashes of being a real good shut down d-mid.. if he could only get consistent and improve his distribution and tendency for bad fouls..
Either way, the deeper our pool of Mids playing in Europe at that speed of play, the better I feel when the WC comes that BB will select the right one for the right game/situation/pairing..
Of course I feel player selection and subs is Bob’s weak point, but thats another story.
Good move – one he really needs to see if he can operate consistently at a level above MLS. IMO, as of today, he would make the WC team, but not start. He has both upside and downside risk with Edu back from injury and the potential for Jones to come back possibly knocking him off the team – but also upside if he can show enough on his new team to earn a starting spot or be first CM off the bench.
To repeat ahm’s response to KFLY they’re talking about who will play next to Bradley, when they discuss who is healthy, as there are USUALLY 2 Central midfielders (Attacking & Defending). Bradley is the attacking midfielder (as Benny can be as well). That leaves the Defensive Central Mid (Jones, Edu, Clark, Torres) to be decided.
Clark would be well suited to focus on improving his technical abilities during the remaining season at Frankfurt. If he can become a smooth distributor of the ball on top of his athletism and hard-nosed play he will be a real asset to the USMNT.
Fits him well and excited to see him make a move into a team he is capable of playing in. Look forward to watching him on Gol!
When comparing central players, you can’t throw them all in one category. Edu, Clark, and Jones are defensive midfielders and of those, Jones is far the better. Edu has come a long way since his Toronto days and if he can continue playing for Rangers, I would him ahead of Clark. However, Clark’s experience should not be underrated. DM play with tackles, ball winning, and short passing to get out of danger.
Michael Bradley and Torres, I would argue, are central midfielders. They rely on intercepting balls to get them back and generally play longer balls and are seen as pseudo-creative. It can be argued whether either are but they offer an ability to control the middle and should be able to dictate pace.
Then you have attacking midfielders which I would put Benny in. These guys should offer an offensive threat and are better dribblers, capable of directly supporting the striker. Benny loves to dribble, has a good shot, and seems more capable in the other half.
Then you wingers and right/left midfielders.
But each can be a starter given the right opponent.
fantastic, did not see this coming. i love it.
see you back in houston in a few months. Don’t kick anyone in the head while you are over there!!!
Good for him. Houston should have sold him after the Confederations Cup.
per mins played and league plus form, Bradley is the clear choice regardless of who is healthy, this is basically fact
His PT is entirely based on how well he shows, not how well he compares to the rest of the midfield. Also depends on what the coach looks for. I have seen plenty of less talented players, from the club level to the national level get the nod because of their work ethic and drive (Bornstein comes to mind when he first started out).
That being said, I hope that Rico comes out and shows well, impresses his manager, and earns the job, rather than being handed it.
Anyone know how much PT he can get in the Bundesliga? I know that Eintracht has an injured midfielder but how does the rest of the midfield compare to Rico
The step up from MLS to Bundesliga is a big one but Clark should hold his own.
uh i think by second place he meant 2nd on the depth chart for the spot next to bradley, could be wrong though. also he is not at all in the doghouse anymore, gets 90 mins game in game out, and for the record… i think highly of him as well
Great move for Clark. The Bundesliga is a great league and will be great for him to develop
We’ll miss Rico here in Houston, but really wish him all the best. He was wonderful here. Though, to be totally accurate, Clark missed BOTH of Dynamo’s MLS Cup finals, the first one in 2006 from card accumulation and the second for administering his brand of frontier justice to the Little Fish.
He is a Dynamo forever.
Oh, does Michael Bradley not play for the USMNT anymore?
You can bet that as long as BB is coach, his son will start. And that’s not favoritism; it’s based on past results. He’s in the doghouse at Moenchengladbach or however the hell you spell that obscenely long city, but he’s still got loads of talent and we know his dad thinks highly of him.
If Jones ever regains form, it’ll be him and Bradley starting every game, with Edu or Clark as the immediate replacement. Which leaves Torres and Benny on the outside looking in, and that’s a damn shame.
Wow, next season is going to be a real test for Houston, especially if Holden departs too.
Well we can assume a couple of things 1. that he had a trial, or at least went through some training with the team. 2. that he hasn’t been sitting on his butt eating twinkies since the end of the mls season 3. that it shouldn’t take more than 2.5 weeks for him to “regain fitness” so we should see him pretty soon if his skills warrant
Good for Rico. Hope it all goes well for him.
Thanks for that, EL Michael.
I wouldn’t be so quick to put Edu ahead of Clark.
From what a remember Edu played very poorly in his last few games for the US team. He was a turnover machine, his passing was way off.
Great opportunity, the Bundesliga is underrated.
Speaking of Jones if he returns to form then it’s a battle between Clark and Edu for 2nd place and I would bet on EDu
I prefer Edu because he combines athleticism with good technical ability and tactical awareness. He knows how to move and pass the ball and, on his good days, knows how to help his team possess. However, if Clark can develop the latter skill set to accompany his incredible athleticism, he’ll be right there with Mo. He needs to understand how to stop a build up rather than just be catching on when it’s almost too late, as that leads to some rash tackles. He’ll also need to be better with the ball at his feet under pressure. I’m not asking for him to create, just to be able to distribute and relay better, as giveaways that deep in the field are never a good thing. Exciting move, especially considering Bradley might play against him.
Hard to hate Rico. He downright hates divers and Carlos RUiz can attest to that. Wish you all the best in Germany!
Hope he does well. Ricardo Clark does kind of remind me of Jermaine Jones. Only fitting he starts at the same club.