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Report: Caden Clark trains with Minnesota United amid potential MLS return


Caden Clark’s career began in MLS and now the American midfielder could reportedly return stateside to get back on track.

Clark trained with Minnesota United on Tuesday amid potential interest from the Western Conference club, The Twin Cities Pioneer Press reported. A native of Blaine, Minn., Clark remains under contract with German Bundesliga club RB Leipzig, but has not dressed this season.

Eredivisie side FC Twente were originally linked with a potential loan deal for Clark, German outlet Bild reported earlier this summer. However, no additional interest has come to fruition with Clark’s immediate future remaining unknown.

Clark scored eight goals and registered four assists in 50 combined MLS appearances for the New York Red Bulls, growing into a key player when healthy. He dressed for RB Leipzig on six occasions last season but did not appear off the bench or make his senior debut.

The 20-year-old made 11 appearances with the U.S. Under-20 men’s national team, helping Mikey Varas’ squad qualify for the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup and 2024 Summer Olympics. However, he was not part of the World Cup roster as the Americans suffered quarterfinal elimination at the hands of Uruguay.

Minnesota United sits ninth in the Western Conference with 31 points earned in 23 league matches.


  1. i didn’t realize clark is from blaine. blaine is a minneapolis suburb, which has a nice, massive youth field setup and is MNU’s practice facility. so while this says something about him being out of favor at RBL it may mean nothing about where he lands. it could be a nice landing site or it could just be training with the home pro team to stay in shape while the agent works something out. as i pointed out, he is within the european window to move there and play but if he came here he would have to be released and in a hurry to beat the roster deadline. more i think about it the more sensible move is there ie europe.

    as with everyone else i would think it wise if whatever he does is better calibrated. i thought RBL was as overambitious for him as for marsch.

    • that being said, i feel like at times there is a fake on-off switch debate about the players. like that they have to stay in europe or they are giving up. why can’t they bounce back and forth? eg holden tried sunderland, came home to the dynamo, bounced back to bolton. landon tried BL, came home to SJ/LA, and did some successful loan stints abroad and could have gone back over full time if he wanted. nothing stopping players doing U-turns or ping ponging with their career better established.

      • IV,

        “why can’t they bounce back and forth?”

        Players have short professional life spans so stability is generally the goal but even so, if such bouncing around were easy and desirable to do, you would see it happening more often and you just don’t at least not between North American and European clubs.

        ” eg holden tried sunderland, came home to the dynamo, bounced back to bolton.”

        Stu never got into a game with Sunderland because he got mugged off the field by some bad people outside a bar in Newcastle because he was a Sunderland player, leaving him with a fractured left eye socket. He could not train for two months. When he resumed training, he suffered an ankle injury that ruled him out for the rest of the season. Those injuries put an end to his first trial there and he never got on the field.

        Also, Stu is Scottish enough so the cultural transition for him was easier than it might have been for other American players. After recuperating, when he got back to the UK he quickly became a star at Bolton before he got mugged, this time on the field by Jonny Evans, Man U’s latest signing, and that eventually ended Stu’s career.

        “landon tried BL, came home to SJ/LA, and did some successful loan stints abroad and could have gone back over full time if he wanted.”

        No, he could not have.

        He said he was interested but he might have been lying.
        He needed the Galaxy and whoever was interested in his services to agree on the contract terms, the money, etc. and those people couldn’t .

        It seems it wasn’t just down to him. Or maybe that is what he wants us to think. Ask him.

        LD’s going back and forth was more complicated than you describe it. You’re leaving out a lot of important detail.

        In 1999, Donovan signed a six-year contract for German Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen.

        He quickly became a regular starter for the club’s reserve team but had trouble adapting to Germany and was allowed extended training periods with United States youth national teams.

        Unhappy, Donovan was loaned to the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer (MLS) for the 2001 season.
        An immediate success, he led the Earthquakes to MLS Cup championships in 2001 and 2003.
        In four years in the league, he scored 32 goals and 29 assists in league play, and ten goals and six assists in the playoffs.

        It will be fun to see how Messi’s record in MLS looks after four years, if he plays that long.

        In 2004, Donovan returned to the Bayer Leverkusen first team in January 2005. He played seven matches with Leverkusen in the 2004–05 season, only two of which were starts so Donovan asked to leave permanently.

        San Jose could not re-sign Donovan because everyone’s favorite Earthquakes general manager Alexi Lalas had traded away his rights. The Galaxy had to trade leading scorer Carlos Ruiz to FC Dallas to get on top of the MLS allocation order as Donovan prepared to leave Germany.



        In November 2008, brought in by Klinsmann, Bayern’s manager at the time, Donovan trained with Bayern Munich, before joining the German club on loan until the start of the 2009 MLS season in mid-March. At Bayern, Donovan had appearances in five friendly matches, in which he scored four goals,[ six league matches and one DFB-Pokal match. At the end of the loan period, Bayern declined to extend his loan.


        After the 2009 MLS season had finished, Donovan joined English Premier League side Everton on loan in January 2010, though there was strong interest from Fulham. He played in 13 matches in all competitions, scored two goals and was named the club’s Player of the Month for January. Everton were keen on extending his loan deal, but LA Galaxy refused, and Donovan returned to the U.S. in time for the start of the 2010 MLS season.

        EVERTON 2

        In December 2011 an agreement was reached for Donovan spent another two months on loan at Everton beginning in January 2012. He made his return on January 4, 2012, against Bolton Wanderers, a 2–1 defeat.
        In his third match on loan, he assisted Everton’s only goal in a 1–1 draw against Aston Villa on January 14.
        On January 27, he assisted in both goals in a 2–1 win over Fulham in the FA Cup fourth round proper.
        On January 31, he assisted in Darron Gibson’s winning goal over Manchester City. Donovan registered his seventh assist when he assisted Denis Stracqualursi’s goal in a 2–0 victory over Chelsea on February 11.

        ” nothing stopping players doing U-turns or ping ponging with their career better established.”

        Easy for you to say. That’s an exaggeration. Every player is different and their flexibility is evaluated on a case by case basis.

        LD had a lot of leverage having signed that big money deal early and having so much success so early.

        Most players do not have that kind of clout. Putting Caden in that category is ridiculous. LD’s issues with breaking into the Leverkusen first team were more about off the field issues but anyone could see that talent. He was a break out star in the 2002 World Cup and quickly turned MLS into his personal playground early on..

        So Leverkusen were always going to give LD lots of rope.

        He’s still young and I’d love to be wrong about him. but I have yet to see any indication that Caden is anywhere near that kind of player or has anywhere near that kind of potential.

  2. we’re past the transfer deadline so i think he would have to be released from contract to RBL to come back here this season. roster freeze is 9/2. otherwise he can’t play first team MLS this season because even a loan would be too late. it does say something he’s literally not even training much less dressing there, and is here. maybe RB does him a solid.

    otherwise, maybe he trains here all fall then the transfer happens this winter. i know nextpro’s roster rules are fuzzier. would they let him play MNU2 if he’s technically registered RBL still? any event better than him sitting around.

    • It seems he isn’t even in RBL plans so would make sense if they just release him at this point. Which is weird considering he was training consistently with RBL first team last half of the season.

    • MLS is getting good enough that unless you’re going to be playing for a strong Championship side or an Ajax or a PSV or a Porto or a Benfica or one of the top 3-4 teams in Turkey, there just is not a ton of advantage beyond cultural acclimation (which does matter) in playing that side of the pond and not here if you’re not in one of the Top-5 leagues anymore. And you can certainly make a convincing argument that none of those leagues have anyone like Messi or even Sergio Busquets playing in them.

      Clark’s a good player with what looks to be a bright future. He is also not a phenom like Gio Reyna or Christian Pulisic, which is what you have to be to see the field as a teenager in the Bundesliga.

      I think Clark’s better off in MLS for the next year or so.

      • I think not, when prospects return thats pretty much the beggining of the end for any meaningful growth. Sure the may make a Pirates of the Carribean roster, but their shot at being a top level player end. Mueller, Hoppe, Szetela, Morris.
        It is really not getting good enough. Especially not the coaching

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