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Which American winter transfer/loan will wind up being the best?

Ricardo Clark 1 (

With the European transfer windows closing up, another crop of Americans have made moves to Europe with the hope of finding some success and improving their standing in the race for World Cup roster spots.

While Landon Donovan has made a great impact since joining Everton on loan, his time with the Toffees is set to end in March (unless you believe the stories that Everton is ready to make MLS a strong offer for his services). For players such as Stuart Holden, Ricardo Clark, Freddy Adu, Eddie Johnson and Kenny Cooper, their winter moves will go a long way in determining just which direction their careers are headed.

Here is our question for you: Which American player's transfer/loan move will wind up being the most successful? We left Donovan off the ballot since his loan is a short-term deal (and since he'd win running away based on his great start at Everton). Cast your vote here:

Which move do we see being the most successful?

Holden has the talent to make an impact at Bolton if he can win the battle for minutes in a crowded midfield, but our pick is Ricardo Clark, who is joining a strong Eintracht Frankfurt side that can use a defensive midfielder like him. Clark's style should suit him well in the Bundesliga.

Which move did you vote for? Which transfer/loan are you the most enthusiastic about? Which move do you wish didn't happen?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I think Adu has the chance to have the biggest impact. He actually looked dangerous from what I saw of his last match, if he can get into the team and get regular minutes and produce it has a chance to drastically raise his stock for a transfer next season or maybe the season after.

    I don’t see him as a part of this WC squad (barring some odd circumstances) but he could definitely be an integral part of the 2014 squad.

    I have high hopes for Holden, but with the addition of Wilshere that’s a crowded midfield. REALLY hoping he sees the field some, I think he’s pretty much a lock for South Africa either way. Clark should get some good playing time from what I understand, I think he’ll do well as long as he meshes with the new manager and team well.

    Definitely hoping for the best for Cooper and EJ, there may be a ticket up for grabs between the two of them for whoever produces.

  2. Hopefully Kenny and his dad have learned an important lesson. This isn’t U-12 soccer. I almost found that story unfathomable.

  3. -You Know Harry…You have some valid points with regard to getting PT to prove his well as needing the team to be structured around him, but in a sense that the ball does not need to go through him in the attack. He is definitely not mature enough to be handed the keys. Where I disagree with you is this being Adu’s last chance saloon for big money in Europe. Lets be honest…American players don’t really play for big money. There are a handful that do transcend their original contracts such as Dempsey, Howard, Friedel…Keller, and maybe a couple more that weren’t mentioned. With that said, its a handful that actually play for big money. Most of those guys made their mark…or “earned” their money well into their 20’s. Adu just turned 20. Which brings me to another point of your’s. “You can only be up and coming for so long” You are definitely correct about that. But what does that imply? That because he hasn’t broken the starting lineup on arguably the best team in portugal with Benfica, or with AS Monacol who never really gave him a chance to make some noise, only appearing in 9 matches as a very limited sub as AS Monaco was very deep at his position. He was never going to be given much of a chance with Benfica’s rivals as his role was to shore up thier bench as a back-up MF was recovering from an injury. With that said, he did score a couple of goals in 11 appearences with Benfica as a sub. I saw some real promise, excellent decision making ability with the ball at his feet. Ive seen almost every game this kid has played either for the Nats, Benfica, Monaco and Belenense. Quite frankly, I can only remember a handfull of times where I said to myself…”what is he doing” And most of those came when he was with the u-20’s. Remember a certain someone who was playing for Leverkusen, wasnt good enough, actually stunk it up. Then went Bayern…still wasnt good enough…then went to Everton…guess what? Good enough…Not because he was not class…but because he was not in the right system. Am I comparing LD to Adu, not really, but what I am stating is that it comes down to the system and how well a player can adapt to it.

  4. It’s funny how there are all these over the top comments for Kenny Cooper, and yet the guy is 2nd to last in the poll w/ a huge 7% (2% above Chris Rolfe). Just goes to show you: don’t believe the hype. Also hard not to notice that the two guys who have by far received the least hype (whether by soccer journos or bigsoccer commenters) are the best players in the group by far and made moves to the best teams.

  5. This is not an answer and will likely be roundly criticized, but I would say “none.” I have concerns about all of these guys and, while I could pick one guy having the potential to show slightly better than the others listed, I do not expect much from any of them in the near future.

  6. My twin Rolfe will do the best…I say this cuz he is prob going to be the one with the most time on the pitch and i still think he is under rated.

  7. LMAO…while I actually agree with the poster on most fronts because Kenny is stepping into a very good situation…he went a tad over the top, well done Jose!!

  8. I swear…most of you morons know nothing… Kenny Cooper has the most upside in conjunction with a transfer window move of any of the players… 1. He will get minutes right away 2. He has all the physical tools and a football brain (unlike EJ at times) 3. The US is weakest right now up top with Charlie being iffy so Kenny has everything to prove (along with EJ and Rico I guess) 4. Kenny fits in with the team he is going to no just including the manager… Kenny also has nothing to prove in order to earn a start… every player on this list does besides him…

    Get a clue folks… Kenny Cooper is going to S.A. and damn well may start if Bradley ever figures it out.

  9. Holden? Really??! He is a bright fooballer and I wish my boy the best, but he will not be as successful as Ricardo or Adu if both of these players get playing time. Out of the three I named, Holden will be the only one to not see many games for his club this year. Adu & Rico have a better chance and maybe Johnson in playing time.

    Rico by far is the best transfer American player besides LD. He has done more and shown better quality for our USMNT than everyone listed above.

    Cooper & Rolfe?HAHAHAHAHAH That says everything. 🙂





  10. The thing about Cooper is that he needs to play on a team that has a midfield that can keep possession. He’s not a target man that is supposed to be able to play with his back to goal and bring different guys into the game. He’s supposed to be a pure finisher; He’s supposed to be able to get the ball and turn it into a goal-scoring opportunity, either with his skill or incredible finishing.

  11. Bit of a misunderstanding. I believe SeattleStan was disagreeing with Matt in Detroit who said that Germans don’t like to speak English. SeattleStan was saying that he was trying to speak German in Germany and everyone kept reverting to English. So sort of a wayward shot you took

  12. Kenny Cooper…umh, leaves GER2 for ENG2. Though wishing for the best (I am a Nat fan!), I just do not see Kenny ever getting it together. If Mariner can get the right balance of slefish striker (which he is) with the build-up/sharing the ball skills (which he has never shown), then he may yet be a good player. But, I ain’t waiting.

    As for EJ and Freddy, I doubt either can make a splash for this summer, but I do hope they thrive 2gether for this last half of season. Both have drifted, but are not yet washed up.

  13. What about my guy Yura Movsisiyan!

    He has his green card and expects to become a citizen within 6-8 months. This should set him up perfectly to start being called up for the nats. He is a great player already and will only be with Randers until the end of the season, then off to bigger and better places. Right now it’s about getting noticed and putting himself up there with Jozy & ChuckD. 2014 in Brazil the USA is going to bring it!

  14. Very good post; Adu has to go to a club that seriously thinks bringing him will lead to a better campaign and is pinning that on him. It seems like when Adu does get chances he does well. It’s down to whether his work rate in practice is responsible for his lack of minutes, or his coaches not wanting to give him chances because they’re not willing to take the risk.

  15. Adu will benefit the most becaus ehe had the most to lose.

    Aris is the last chance saloon for him in terms of playing for big money in Europe. You can only be up and coming for so long, no matter how young you are. If he can get significant time then he will have saved his European adventure. Still don’t see him as a serious candidate for SA though. He needs the team to be structured to suit him more than the USMNT is now. Adu simply isn’t good enough yet for the USMNT to be built around him. Maybe 2014. As for the notion he has a high soccer IQ, he’s too limited a player and makes too many poor decisions for that to be true. Maybe as he matures.

  16. I think we can all put a fairly safe bet down that Holden and Clark will go to South Africa this summer. Holden may not get the amount of minutes but this move will effect his career long term as well as Clark.

    This is why I would say Freddy and Eddie are the most likely to benefit from their moves. If they play regularly and do as well as they did this weekend, it could have a dramatic effect on their chances to go to South Africa, as well as a long term impact. I can pretty much guarantee that if EJ scores about 10 more goals and Adu scores a few along with a bunch of assists that we will be reading headlines in a few months with their names in it. All the Adu crazy fans will be shouting for Bradley to call him up and EJ just might beat out Casey for a spot.

    Its make or break for those lads, if they do well then they are back and if not, well then I guess they can enjoy the sunshine and beaches in Greece for a long time because that is probably where they will stay.

  17. Adu will benefit the most. He is young, high soccer IQ, he has pace, technical ability, he is full of confidence even when he doesnt get playing time… Having said that, yes he is a bit immature, “primadona”…but who isnt at that age.

    I think Edu gets a bad rap for not seeing much playing time but I think if you take a long look at the context in which his moves were made you can make a case for Adu getting the short end of the stick. Now take into consideration that if you have a player of this magnitude (by US standards), what do you do? You take him, make him the center-piece of your team and run with it giving him the keys to the offense. If you see a kid this young with tremendous amounts of up-swing, thats what coaches and GM’s do. Now, I am sure we are all in agreement that there is no team or General manager willing to risk their neck on a 20 yr old American, especially if what they have is just as young, more talented and comes with a steeper price tag. Lets face it, its just not going to happen.

    A kid like that cant be made to drink the kool-aid only because his nature tells him otherwise. He is too creative. Is this a detriment to the teams tactics and structure most likely…but does he add another dimension making his team more unpredictable…you bet. This type of kid needs to be given carte blanche and that is simply not going to happen on a top-flight club and on the MSMNT especially with Donovan occupying that role. I think he will get a healthy dose of PT in Greece. As a result, I feel Adu will be able to do some damage considering there are only 3 class teams with all the others a few steps ahead of MLS.

  18. I voted for Adu because on a personal level it is the move that could have the greatest impact on the player. Remember Adu has played very little in two years and if reports are to be believed the starting left winger role is his once he gets more minutes under him. He is being taught by one of the better managers in the world and will play in front of rapid fans. Belenenses this is not.


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