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Salgado eyes Europe after securing Spanish passport

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With the MLS playoff race dominating the headlines in recent weeks, a bit of news slipped under the radar recently regarding one of the best young prospects in the league.

Omar Salgado recently celebrated his 18th birthday, and a week after that he scored the best present a young American soccer player could hope for. A European passport.

Here is my Fox Soccer feature on the first player chosen in the 2011 MLS Draft and why I think he is one of the MLS players most likely to move via transfer this winter, a transfer move that could come before he ever establishes himself as a starter in MLS.

What do you think about Salgado's transfer prospects? Think he he should be playing more for Vancouver? What country would you like to see him move to this winter? Hoping he stays in MLS another few years?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Ummmm I’m pretty sure he’s from somewhere near El Paso, Texas which last time I checked is NOT Mexico even tho it’s pretty darn close?

    He may have dual citizenship but just because he has some parents from Mexico doesn’t make him Mexican, I don’t care what the Mexican constitution says about anyone with Mexican parents born outside of Mexico being considered Mexican.

    In soccer terms and more importantly, where he feels is home, the US is his nation of birth and affiliation. He should be looking to get on the London 2012 team, only guys I think will be competing with him are the obvious of Juan Agudelo, Teal Bunbury and the U-20 guys in Gyau, Wood and possibly Doyle. I hope he makes that Olympic team, he’s a great prospect, I bet he makes it before Doyle?
    Gyau, Wood, Agudelo, Bunbury and Omar as our forwards seems GREAT but Jozy and Adu are eligible?

  2. MicahK, the only way a player can play for a country is they have to be asked.

    Timmmy Chandler was never asked to play for Germany so he plays for the US. Maybe if they had asked him he would have chosen them. Maybe they will ask him in the future; who knows?

    Let’s say Omar moves to Spain and becomes a big deal.

    I’m not saying it will happen but if he does do well enough then MAYBE Spain would ask him ( big talented strikers are always a good thing to have ) and if they do it will be because he is good enough. You have no idea what Spain’s lineup will look like in the next five years. Soccer can be pretty dynamic. And if Omar could play for Spain he would be a pretty big star.

    My feeling is, in the unlikely event he gets that good, he’d be a fool if he did not consider playing for Spain.

  3. I couldn’t have responded to your post if I hadn’t read it.

    Rossi is an American who moved to Italy when he was 12 and is now arguably one of Italy’s best strikers, certainly a class above any American striker. He plays in Spain for Villareal which is a pretty good club in La Liga, Spain’s first division. He is an Italian striker even though he holds two passports ( Italy and the US) because he chose to play for Italy rather than the US. This decision has earned him some enmity from USMNT fans. Look him up on Google if you are really interested in learning more .

    The Jozy comparison is not entirely apt. Jozy was settled in the MLS and had already made a splash with the USMNT. However, he had a hard time adjusting to the culture in Spain, when he moved and now it seems Villareal never really knew what to do with him.

    If Salgado moves to Spain, which seems to be his intent, then at least he will have family in the area (something he does not have now)and will speak the language ( something Jozy did not).

    You like comparisons? I hear all the time how Jozy is like Drogba because Drogba is a big powerful striker and did not do anything until he was 21 ( which hopefully Jozy is now doing at AZ). One reason Drogba did not do anything until that age is he was hurt and when he was about Salgado’s age he got homesick and went home to Africa. Drogba, who was in France at the time, may be a more apt comparison to Omar if you you simply must make comparisons.

    The only thing Jozy and Salgado have in common is they are young, big striker types and are Americans. One is now playing abroad and the other one seems to be considering it.

    If Omar is as talented as they say he is and his current bad form is due to him being out of sorts personally, then moving to Spain might be just the thing to get him going and it would seem he would have a better shot at succeeding than Jozy did when he moved to Spain.

  4. Who’s Giuseppe Rossi??

    The Jozy comparison was applicable in backing my opinion considering Jozy had accomplished more at this stage. I wasn’t slighting Jozy.

    Read before responding.

  5. Are you all high ? Why would he play for Spain ? Where in the article did it say he was interested in doing that ? The idea makes no sense and him playing for Spain would not be best for him. THINK!!! We(USA Nats team) have no dept at striker. If he gets good he will be a guaranteed starter and will have less competition than if he was submerged in the Spanish national team roster pool. Which is filled with tons of dept at his position.

  6. Well this ain’t about what is best for USMNT fans, it’s about what is best for Omar.

    And if gets good enough to where Spain would be interested in him, he’d be crazy to turn them down.

  7. ” if it’s for development, I dont buy into the “Europe is obviously the best place for him” argument.”

    It worked for John O Brien, Giuseppe Rossi, Zak Whitbread, Greg Berhalter, Claudio Reyna, Steve Cherundolo,Tim Howard, Kasey Keller and Brad Freidel, among others.

    Salgado is not Jozy.

    Every player is different.

    This kid has already spent time in Mexico. If Vancouver does not suit him for some reason there is no reason for him to waste time there if he has a viable alternative.

    It’s a mistake to keep applying the Jozy story or the Adu story to every young American soccer player who wants to play in Europe.

  8. Beg your pardon, no hate involved. I wish Freddy and Jozy the best in all things, but they were both touted as the finest prospect of a nation. They both bore those expectations and believed in them. They both had similar complaints from clubs that they played for (Freddy more so, because of the ludicrous hype).

    Salgado isn’t a superstar yet. He’s got some refining to do, and he doesn’t have to do it in MLS. He’s uniquely suited to Europe, and he should go and see how it works out, just like any player his age.

  9. Um, us US fans do not want that and that would also be dumb for him to do that because if he wanted to do that he could have just stayed at Chivas and did good, then move to La Liga. His whole reason for leaving Chivas was to rep the USA for Chivas you have to represent Mexico to play there.

  10. “Stupid move for him to go to Europe. ”

    I did not read anywhere in this article where it said he was moving to Europe.

    Having that passport means he now has the option to move there, assuming some club wants to take him on. So, of course, he will need to give some European club a reason to want to buy him.

    To put this in English, having a driver’s license means you can legally drive a car.

    It doesn’t mean you have a car; it just means you can drive one. When you get around to having one that means there is one less thing to worry about.

    If a young soccer professional can get a Euro passport it makes it just that much more likely that he will get an offer; it guarantees nothing but it is a smart move. Besides, we don’t know the whole story. Maybe some european clb has already contacted him and asked him to get a Euro passport.

    What you are doing is jumping to conclusions.

  11. Also, does he have a Spanish grand parent because for him to get Spanish citizenship with no grandparent he would have to live in Spain for two years I think since he is from a Latin American country Mexico.

  12. Salgado should get out of Vancouver ASAP. There was a newspaper article a few weeks ago about how he is pretty much miserable up there, he doesn’t play at all, his teammates are not friendly with him, and he even got in a punch-out at practice. Vancouver under Soehn is a disaster, run far away Omar.

  13. At 18, Jozy was doing A LOT MORE than this kid and we see how turbulent his experience has been, until this year.

    I’m not a fan of Americans making the jump, simply to make the jump. A lot of our young athletes don’t appear mentally or technically ready once they arrive and quickly fall out of favor (see massive DNP’s).

    If it’s for money, that’s one thing but if it’s for development, I dont buy into the “Europe is obviously the best place for him” argument. I think he needs to earn a place on Vancouver first.

  14. Big offensive, skill players are always so tricky. Even if they have the speed, which is rare, is it straight line speed or, can they make quick cuts? Do they have the agility to beat smaller players? Do they actually play big in the air and have the body control to beat players in the air? So they have the toughness to bang against smaller but thicker players? I haven’t seen Omar enough. Does he possess these qualities?

  15. Ummmmm….I’m pretty sure I remember a big Spanish club paying MLS and the RedBulls a $10M transfer fee for Altidore. There was no delusion. Quit hating.

  16. I don’t think it was age, at the time Chivas 18 & 19 year old fowards were on the First Team… the guy who was first choice U-20 (Erick Torres) was only 7 months older than Omar, and the next guy ahead of him, Carlos Fierro, was almost a year younger than Salgado.

    Torres & Fierro have both been promoted to the first team since Salgado quit at Chivas.

  17. Check out VWC’s site: they have a resident youth program (sort of an odd duck, more like an exchange-student model than anything I’ve heard of), a PDL team, and some other stuff going.

  18. I say this is a good move. He doesn’t have the delusion that Jozy and Freddy had when they made the jump at his age, and he could start competing with players his own age with a number of Spanish teams. Better he gets in the fold now than when he’s 22 and the teams favor either veterans or their own products in the lineup.

    Depending on the club, good decision.

  19. “European soccer is a meat grinder that eats up young, talented players and spits them out. For every star that emerges there are 10 guys who end up 3rd division or with a bum knee.”

    Should say:

    “Professional soccer is a meat grinder that eats up young, talented players and spits them out. For every star that emerges there are 10 guys who end up 3rd division or with a bum knee.”

  20. Unless he goes to a league like Belgium, Denmark or Portugal, I’m not a fan of him going to Europe. We’ve seen too many young forwards go overseas and struggle for playing time. As long as your in a professional environment AND playing – you will develop.
    Let him get regular minutes with Vancouver and produce before he goes overseas and takes on those challenges

  21. Moving now would be a terrible idea. He needs to go through the process of learning what it takes to become a regular first team player. Then he can go to Europe and do it again, once he knows the process. If he leaves now, we’ll be talking about him in the Turkish 2nd Division in 6 years.

  22. He’s too young to go out to bars with his teammates. Not sure if Vancouver has a youth team, but with MLS youth teams players generally live with their parents.

  23. Good for Salgado! I hope he makes the move to Europe. I love seeing hungry U.S kids wanting to play with and against the best players in the world. A reserve match in Europe is a great way to increase all aspects of ones game.

  24. While I’m not thrilled with what seems like something of a wasted year for him in Vancouver, he has recently been quoted about how lonely and isolated he feels in Vancouver and how much difficulty he’s had making the adjustment from living in El Paso and his time in Mexico to being in Canada. So now he;ll move to Europe…sure, that seems like a sensible career move…

  25. I think he should be loaned out somewhere. I like that Vancover is taking a RSL/Gil type route with a young player, but Gil got to play 1st team minutes with a loan to a USL team I believe. I’m sure its frustrating for a young player to sit on the bench game after game, but I don’t think a permanant deal to a Euro team BEFORE he’s even established himself in an MLS line-up is a good idea.

    And a Euro team probably wouldn’t send a big enough transfer fee for an unproven player with potential. At least not big enough to appease the MLS’s appetite.

  26. Why should he stay at Vancouver for a club that seems to have no idea how they want to play, and get next to no reserve game, when he could have an opportunity to go to Europe and play for reserve teams with regular games. I don’t think he is going with the intent of playing at a top flight club, but something more along the lines of a lot of the other youth kids who have moved recently.

  27. Scored one goal for Vancouver so far however he’s not getting much playing time on the first team. I believe he is leading the reserve league in scoring with four goals.

  28. Stupid move for him to go to Europe. First, European soccer is a meat grinder that eats up young, talented players and spits them out. For every star that emerges there are 10 guys who end up 3rd division or with a bum knee. Second, he’s not ready. Let him prove he can start in MLS and score 10 goals a year. Then he can go sit on the bench someplace.

  29. How is he doing at Vancouver? The word from Guadalajara is that he still had a long way to develop in terms of ball control, dribbling & positioning reason why he was the 3rd string center forward on the Chivas U-20 team.

  30. Caralho! I am more excited for the Liverpool signee that got loaned out and is scoring goals in the reserves…

    Salgado smells like Nate Jaqua…I kid


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