"The Release of Grandpa Doe" and Scouting African Players

HERE'S AN INTERESTING PIECE from Liberianfootball.com that focuses on Francis grandpa Doe, the Liberian NYRB released a few weeks back.

I really don't know what the deal was with him specifically, although apparently there were injury issues, and I'm certain that there's more than a little hyperbole in their portrayal of Doe as the second coming of Tony Yeboah, but the question of African players is an interesting one.

Certainly MLS coaching contacts in South America are a whole lot stronger than they are in Africa, and most players come to a team's attention through word of mouth.

And there's no question that MLS hopes that more Hispanic players will eventually lead to greater Hispanic interest in the league, which is the gold ring the league has been chasing for a dozen years now with very limited success.

But are they neglecting the opportunity to attract some of the millions of immigrants who come from Africa? While they're certainly not here in anything like the same numbers as Hispanics, their money is as green as anyone else's.

I think it has a lot to do with the difficulties involved in scouting. The language barriers, the distances involved and the general lack of familiarity with African players and contacts with African clubs and coaches are all significant hurdles to be sure.

But as more MLS teams create "partnering" relationships with South American clubs, perhaps a few similar, tentative steps could be made towards Africa.

It has to be worth a try.