Is the USMNT past "naturalizing players" to play for it?

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by purojogo, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. purojogo

    purojogo Member

    Sep 23, 2001
    US/Peru home
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I know we have right now Cunningham -Jamaican-, and Adu, who sort of, "became American" when his mom did..... Neither of which in all likelihood have the greatest of chances to make the roster for Germany

    MAstro to me is a different story as he came at 4 y/o IIRC.... too young to even remember much of Argentina before settling here....

    But one looks to the neighbors to the south... and they have now Zinha, Fonseca, and apparently close to having Gaitan play for them..... players originally from Brazil and Argentina.... It seems that it's quickly becoming a South Amexican NT, so to speak ;)...All three could presumably make it to the WC squad....

    Anybody in the process of becoming American and whom one would like to get a look at? IMHO, i think the USMNT is doing ok, by not trying to push anything, and trying to work with the players it has right now, not expecting anyone else to join in through any sort of hurried paperwork, as it happened with Steve Sampson's NT tenure.....
  2. freisland

    freisland Member+

    Jan 31, 2001
    What's Ugo's story? I can't recall off hand and am too lazy to look it up at the moment.
  3. Matrim55

    Matrim55 Member+

    Aug 14, 2000
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If MLS becomes like the Mexican league and a number of "second tier" South Americans come to play here at a young age, get their citizenship, and proceed to get capped I don't have a problem with it at all. An American's an American if they have citizenship.

    Now, should we court Ailton or pull another Regis? Not for anyone short of a Messi-esque talent. But if there are Tom Dooleys or Earnie Stewarts out there - why not? Italy are likely to do the same with Rossi, Holland are trying to poach Jonathan deGuzman from Canada, Hargreaves chose England despite never having lived there, Kanoute stopped "feeling French", etc etc etc.
  4. Minnman

    Minnman Member+

    Feb 11, 2000
    Columbus, OH, USA
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The USMNT doesn't naturalize players. It has no clout whatsoever with the Dept of Homeland Security (which I believe now oversees the naturalization process). For the most part, it takes a very long time to become an American citizen, though there are certain instances where it can happen more quickly or in altered circumstances: Davdi Regis married a US citizen engaged in work abroad related to a US gov't grant (or something like that), which alowed him to avoid the 5 year residency requirement (I've read the USSF helped Regis's future wife get that job; but the law allowing expedited naturalization was the loophole that made is possible); Freddy Adu's mother was naturalized while he was a minor, which allowed him to become an American (certainly, the USSF wasn't scouting the streets of Ghana recruiting 6 year old phenoms, we just got lucky).

    Leaving aside the argument over switching allegiances, FIFA allows someone to play for a country for which he is a citizen. And citizenship is defined by individual countries. I really don't think the US abuses that rule. And as others have said, a naturalized American is a American. Period.
  5. el fenómeno

    el fenómeno New Member

    Mar 23, 2005
    5th Ward. Texas
    Who were part of the foreign legion in 2002?

    Mastroeni - Argentina
    Regis - France
    Agoos - Switzerland?

    What about 1998, 1994, 1990???

    Is there less of the foreign hoard now?
  6. davide

    davide Member

    Mar 1, 2001
    Agoos isn't Swiss.
  7. el fenómeno

    el fenómeno New Member

    Mar 23, 2005
    5th Ward. Texas
    After his performance in Japan-Korea 2002, I kept telling everyone who would listen that he was! :D
  8. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

    Feb 13, 2001
    A) Jeff Agoos was born in Switzerland to American parents and moved back to the US at a very young age. Technically, yes, he's Swiss but it's not like the country or its culture had much influence on him or his game.

    B) Ugo Ihemulu was born in Nigeria but, like Mastroeni and Adu, came to the US at an early age.
  9. freisland

    freisland Member+

    Jan 31, 2001
    Is he a citizen? That was what I couldn't remember. Someone questioned it once when I was at the Depot and I can't recall the outcome of the debate.
  10. davide

    davide Member

    Mar 1, 2001

    FWIW, his father was an executive for Caterpillar (IIRC) so the family lived all over globe. His younger brother was born in South Africa.

    Mastroeni was born in Argentina, but spent his entire soccer life in the United States.

    Regis, of course is the exception.

    Bruce Arena made it clear during his first press conference after he took over the job that he wouldn't court foreign players ala Sampson.

    Llamosa should be on the foreign legion list in 2002. Great story though.
  11. copaantl98

    copaantl98 Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    I too agree in that an American is an American. I just wonder why so many Mexican fans don't seem as welcoming to naturalized players.
  12. Matrim55

    Matrim55 Member+

    Aug 14, 2000
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    There was also Llamosa, who was clearly an asset and a guy with the kind of US semipro career that has Chivas USA drooling. I hope to god there are more of him out there, and would be happy to see the like find their way into the player pool.

    Dooley and Stewart played in 1994 and 1998.

    Wegerle in 1998.

    Regis in 1998 and 2002.

    Preki in 1998.

    Was Klopas nationalized in 1994?

    I just took a xanax, so the rest is slipping my mind...
  13. IMOX77

    IMOX77 New Member

    Jun 15, 2003
    Long Island, NY

    I could be wrong but didnt a figure skater from Canada just get her citzenship quicker than normal so she could represent the US in Torino?

    edit: looked it up

    It can be done quicker when needed
  14. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

    Feb 13, 2001
    I think this is all the foreign born players who've been on US WC teams.

    Tab Ramos was born in Uruguay and came to the US as a child.

    Fernando Clavijo, was born in Uruguay and came to the US as an adult to play in the NASL.

    Thomas Dooley was born a US citizen because of his American dad but was born and raised in Germany and didn’t know he was eligible to play for the US till he was an adult.

    Frank Klopas was born in Greece but came to the US as a kid and was raised in Chicago.

    Hugo Perez was born in El Salvador and came to the US as a kid.


    Earnie Stewart was born a US citizen, thanks to an American dad, in Holland. He moved to the US as a child but only stayed for a couple of years before returning to Holland.

    Roy Wegerle was born in South Africa and first came to the US to play college soccer. He then played in the NASL and MISL but left for England before he became a US citizen. He was eligible to play for the US because of his marriage to an American woman.

    Jeff Agoos was born a US citizen in Switzerland because his American parents were working there at the time of his birth.


    Preki Radosavljevic was born in Yugoslavia and came to the US as an adult to play in the MISL.


    David Regis was born in Martinique and moved to France as a teenager and was eligible to play for the US because he married an American woman.




    Carlos Llamosa was born in Colombia and came to the US as an adult to find work but not to play soccer

    Pablo Mastroeni was born in Argentina and came to the US as a child.


  15. Clint Eastwood

    Clint Eastwood Member+

    Dec 23, 2003
    Somerville, MA
    FC Dallas
    What's the story on Oguchi Onyewu. Was he born here? His parents are Nigerian correct?

    It's amazing how heated the debate is in the Mexican forum concerning the naturalized players on the NT. I really don't know what to make of it, but it seems that Blanco fans hate Lavolpe and therefore hate his inclusion of naturalized players.

    There's going to be a day when players born and raised in the US are going to be on the Mexican NT. That'll be interesting. I expect it to be somewhat like the Turks who were born and raised in Germany.
  16. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

    Feb 13, 2001
    Gooch was born in Maryland to Nigerian parents who met while attending Howard.

    A LOT of the players in the US pool, and former US players, are first-generation Americans on at least one side of their family. Harkes (Scotland), Balboa (Argentina), Reyna (Argentina and Portugal), Meola (Italy), Sommer (Germany), Gibbs (Jamaica), Stollmeyer (Trinidad), Sanneh (Gambia), Donovan (Canada), Hahnemann (Germany), Howard (Hungary) and several others I've left out.
  17. PALE568

    PALE568 Member

    Jun 5, 2003
    mind your own.
    Interesting to hear your take on Switzlerand's negligible effect on Agoos b/c I seem to you remember that you've always been a big Whitbread-for-the-Nats guy. I've always dismissed Whitbread as a chancer - who had as much ties to the US as Agoos to Switzerland - but I seem to remember that you considered him a gung-ho Yank.

    Anyway, not to be like THAT. Just found it interesting.

    As for the thread question, no national team is above "naturalizing players" to play for it. Portugal basically natuaralized Deco & I think some of the English press were calling for Cudicini to be naturalized before Robinson came into his own. These are elite sides.

    Personally, I wish no country naturalized players to play for them, which is quite different than wishing that no country would use naturalized players. To me, natuarlized citizens & citizens by birth are indistinguishable. I just think that personal ambition should be left to the club game & that the international game should be driven by patriotism and identity. I can't stand it when somebody says "wait, my grandmother who've I never met is from where? sign me up!"
  18. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Sporting Kansas City
    No, it never will be. The U.S. is a nation of immigrants, and it will continue to be so.

    If anything, the fact that soccer is now the big youth sport means that many immigrant children, instead of assimilating into baseball or football, will continue to play soccer.

    That said, the U.S. will become a net exporter of soccer internationals in the future. For every future Freddy Adu, there'll likely be several American-born players who choose to play for their parents country due to lack of chances to play for the U.S.
  19. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

    Feb 13, 2001
    For the record, I have no qualms with naturalized US citizens, even if they came to the US as adults to play soccer, playing for the USA nor do I have a problem using players who have a claim to US citizenship but were raised abroad.

    Zak Whitbread of Milwall was born in Houston but hadn't been to the since he before he was one but still played for the US U20 and U23 teams and wants to play for the US at the senior team level. I say, welcome Zack!

    If Ronnie O'Brien wasn't already cap-tied to Ireland (as a youth international), I would be very excited about him some day playing for the US.

    I know the idea makes some squirm, but if Dema Kovalenko gets his US citizenship before he's too old - he's 28 now - I wouldn't object to him getting some games with the US.

    If a player comes over here as a young pro and adopts the US as his home and wants to play for the US - and is good enough to do so - I have no qualms with that. I mean, if Paulo Nagamura becomes a US citizen in his athletic prime (he's just 22) I wouldn't mind him getting a look. Same with Thiago (who is 23) and Abbe Ibrahim (19, though I don't know if he's cap-tied) or Fabrice Noel (20).

    And, there are some foreign players starring at US colleges who could be great naturalization candidates down the line including a pair of Brits. Andy Iro, a mammouth 6-4 So. centerback at UCSB and Fort Lewis Jr. M/F John Cunliffe, a dynamic attacker who lead the school to the D-II national title.

    If they want to put the time in in the US and adopt this place as their home and become US citizens, if they're good enough for a cap, I got zero qualms with that.
  20. england66

    england66 Member+

    Jan 6, 2004
    dallas, texas

    ....the opposite was true for me ownself......
  21. Miss Webous

    Miss Webous Member

    Oct 3, 2005
    Cruz Azul Hidalgo
    WTF????????? :confused: Fonceca was born in Mexico
  22. Jabinho

    Jabinho New Member

    May 29, 2004
    Well it's a totally different subject, I guess, but that's already the case with the Mexican women's national team.. I think it was something like 7 starters for their team a couple of years ago were American born and raised..
    I guess they are trying to take that in the other direction as their team improves..
  23. el fenómeno

    el fenómeno New Member

    Mar 23, 2005
    5th Ward. Texas

    HA, I hadn't noticed that. Franco is what he should have wrote.

    If Chelito Delgado were uncapped and naturalized, nobody would complain. :)
  24. Rocket

    Rocket Member

    Aug 29, 1999
    Everton FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Like Rossi? :)
  25. england66

    england66 Member+

    Jan 6, 2004
    dallas, texas

    I'll go on record right now and say that Rossi won't play for Italy

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