Who was the earliest noteworthy YA?

Discussion in 'Yanks Abroad' started by yellowbismark, May 25, 2009.

  1. yellowbismark

    yellowbismark Member+

    Nov 7, 2000
    San Diego, CA
    Club:
    Club Tijuana
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Were there any Americans playing in decent foreign leagues in the 80s or earlier? And by that I mean born and bred Americans, not naturalized Americans (like Roy Wegerle)
     
  2. afgrijselijkheid

    Dec 29, 2002
    mokum
    Club:
    AFC Ajax
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddy_Hamel
     
  3. deuteronomy

    deuteronomy Member+

    Angkor Siem Reap FC
    United States
    Aug 12, 2008
    Siem Reap, Cambodia
    Club:
    Siem Reap Angkor FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's hard to define noteworthy but here is a shot.
    After the demise of the North American Soccer League in 1984, there were four players in the 1980's who played in Europe. They were certainly pioneers and deserve a lot of credit for giving Europe a shot.

    1. John Kerr Jr., current coach at Duke, played at Portsmouth among others in England.
    2. Paul Caliguiri played in Germany at Meppen and Hanna Rostock.
    3. Eric Eichman played in Germany for Werder Bremen
    4. Bruce Murray played for Lucerne in Switzerland.

    The last two were basically on the team roster and did not play any first team minutes.
     
  4. Roger Allaway

    Roger Allaway Member+

    Apr 22, 2009
    Warminster, Pa.
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Alex Skotarek, who was born in Germany, played for MVV Maastricht in the first division in Holland in 1971. If you don't count him, since he was a naturalized citizen, then the earliest may have been Dave D'Errico and Bobby Smith, who both played for Dundalk in the first division in Ireland in 1975 on loan from their NASL clubs.

    There have been earlier ones who were born in the United States but not raised here. A Coventry City player from the 1960s, Gerry Baker, was a dual British and American citizen because he was born in New Rochelle, N.Y. (to British parents), in 1939. When it became apparent to him that he was never going to be called up by the English national team, he accepted a call-up from the USSFA and played several World Cup qualifiers for the United States in 1969. There also were two American-born players who played in the first division in Italy in the 1930s. One was named Armando Frigo. I've forgotten the other name.

    Also, if you say "not naturalized," then you have to count Thomas Dooley and Earnie Stewart among the Americans in Europe in the 1980s. They were not naturalized. Because they each had one American parent, they were American citizens from the moment they were born.
     
  5. Scotty

    Scotty Member+

    Dec 15, 1999
    Campania
    Not exactly the earliest YA, but Cle Kooiman moved to the Mexican league in 1990 and spent six years there with Juarez, Cruz Azul and Morelia.

    He was also the first U.S. citizen to captain a Mexican soccer team. Pretty noteworthy in my opinion.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cle_Kooiman
     
  6. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

    Mar 18, 1999
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    There were several American-born players playing in Serie A before the War. I don't know how American they were.

    Hugo Perez was another pioneer, but he was born in El Salvador. He came to the US as a young age so his soccer came from the USA. Frank Klopas also went in the 1980's afte the end of NASL. Again, he was born outside the US, but grew up in the US.
     
  7. Zak1FCK

    Zak1FCK Member+

    Aug 23, 2005
    Milwaukee
    Club:
    FC Kaiserslautern
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Tom Dooley at Homburg and Kaiserslautern.
     
  8. YankBastard

    YankBastard Na Na Na Na NANANANAAA!

    Jun 18, 2005
    Estados Unidos
    Club:
    AS Roma
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  9. The Toe

    The Toe Member

    Mar 30, 2002
    SF Bay Area
    Club:
    Fulham FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  10. JG

    JG Member+

    Jun 27, 1999
    Frank Klopas (born in Greece but moved to the US as a kid) joined AEK Athens in 1988.
     
  11. Roger Allaway

    Roger Allaway Member+

    Apr 22, 2009
    Warminster, Pa.
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Here is another early one, albeit a naturalized one. Dietrich Albrecht, who was born in Germany and scored a key goal for the United States in World Cup qualifying in 1969, played the 1970-71 season for Sturm Graz in the first division in Austria.
     
  12. camasterton

    camasterton Member

    Jun 26, 2001
    North Carolina
    Benjamin Franklin. Quality "player" in England, France and Holland. The original Yank Abroad.
     
  13. aarond23

    aarond23 Member+

    Feb 24, 2006
    Indianapolis
    Club:
    Fulham FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think its noteworthy the complete lack of abroad players basically until the late 80s. As transferable as something like goalkeeping skills are and as deep as the US is now, I'm sure there had to be some back then who was good enough to play overseas.

    But the game itself in Europe seems to be so much more accepting of different nationalities than it used to be, look at the EPL from the 70s and 80s, barely a black face to be seen.

    http://www.epltalk.com/first-black-footballers-to-play-for-premier-league-clubs/3430
     
  14. Lascho

    Lascho Member+

    Sep 1, 2008
    Hannover, Germany
    Club:
    Borussia Mönchengladbach
    Ever heard of the Bosman ruling? ;)
     
  15. Gorky

    Gorky Member+

    Jul 28, 2006
    NYC
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    His scoring record is unmatched.
     
  16. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

    Oct 14, 2004
    I think you're looking at him with rose colored glasses.
     
  17. mschofield

    mschofield Member+

    May 16, 2000
    Berlin
    Club:
    Union Berlin
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    Messing had offers, pretty sure in germany and elsewhere, but the NASL was paying decent wages back then, so sticking in the US wasn't a bad option. Mausser and Mayer were probably at least second tier division talent, but foreigners weren't nearly as common as they are today, as, as with messing, they had a league, so didn't look overseas.
    Remember, the money overseas was better, but nothing compared to the gap today.
     
  18. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

    Oct 14, 2004
    There were two major reason then :

    1) Most leagues had a 3 non-home player maximum at that time and, without the EU, a Dutchman like Cruijff or Gullit was still a foreign player everywhere outside of the Netherlands. That largely limited the movement of all but the few best players - Netzer, Breitner, Stielike to Real; Cruijff, Neeskens, Maradona to Barcelona, etc.

    2) Without the proliferation of the cable/satellite TV, the revenues the clubs brought in was largely from the paid attendance, so a team like the New York Cosmos could actually pay as good a wage as Bayern Munich (the US was richer than West Germany, the Giants Stadium was larger than Olimpiastadion, the dollar was reasonably strong to the Deutchmark, etc.)

    The big jump in European player wages took place post-Bosman, beginning in 1995.

    When MLS brought in some of the European based players like Mo Johnston, Jaime Moreno, et al., one could sign a decent player for under $400K (Mo came in at $350K, IIRC) and the MLS salary cap of $1.3M was fairly reasonable in relation to what one could buy with that money.

    Since then, the average Prem salary went to about the size of the MLS cap and even smaller European leagues can pay a lot more to a quality MLS player than MLS itself.
     
  19. SCBozeman

    SCBozeman Member

    Jun 3, 2001
    St. Louis
    ^^^
    I thought most leagues (England First Division, Bundesliga) had a 2 foreign player limit, and it was the fairly cosmopolitan Serie A that had 3 foreign players. Am I mis-remembering?

    The other aspect of the internationalizing of the game is that it helped drain some smaller leagues of their local talent -- Holland, Belgium, Scotland, etc. -- making it nearly impossible for clubs in those countries to be the powerhouses they once were since they don't have the TV revenues of big leagues and their best players will gravitate towards them easily since there are few restrictions.

    While in the long run, it's probably the most efficient to create super star teams and leagues, one does wonder what would happen if FIFA/UEFA passed sweeping limits to again limit the number of "foreign" players, subject of course to the EU.

    Would it help leagues like MLS if a great number of CONMEBOL, CONCACAF, etc. players were restricted from UEFA? In some ways, MLS may be assisted both by the collapse of debt-ridden Euro clubs, and roll-backs in employment policy.
     
  20. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

    Oct 14, 2004
    1974-75 Bayern had Johnny Hansen (Denmark), Bjorn Andersson (Sweden) and Conny Torstensson (also Sweden).

    Their 1984-85 team only had Jean-Marie Pfaff (Belgium) and Sören Lerby (Denmark).

    But the same season, Hamburg had Gerard Plessers (Belgium), Erik Soler (Norway) and Mark McGree (Scotland).

    When Hamburg played Inter that season in the UEFA Cup, Inter had Rummenigge and Brady on its roster.

    In the final of the same UEFA Cup (home leg), Real Madrid had Stielike and Valdano.

    As to who is aided by the far more lax Euro requirements, it's obviously the super-rich clubs and the lower tier national teams (and, by lower tier, I mean, anyone outside the top 5).

    I think if MLS was a quality buy&sell league, it'd make a fortune selling to the Euro clubs and then getting the same players at the end of their careers for free.
     
  21. Scotty

    Scotty Member+

    Dec 15, 1999
    Campania
    No, it was 3.

    And it didn't restrict how many foreign players could be on a team's roster, just how many they could have on the field at one time. Also, IIRC it caused difficulty for English teams because Welsh, Scottish and N. Irish internationals were considered as foreigners in UEFA competitions, whereas in the Premier League they were not.

    An interesting fact about Serie A is that from the late 60s until the beginning of the 80s it banned all foreign players.
     
  22. SCBozeman

    SCBozeman Member

    Jun 3, 2001
    St. Louis
    ^^^
    Thanks, I was wrong. One's ability to follow Euro leagues in the 1980s in the US was basically impossible. The only popularly distributed journal (Soccer Digest; Soccer America was harder to come by) barely covered the foreign game.
     
  23. Matrim55

    Matrim55 Member+

    Aug 14, 2000
    Berkeley
    Club:
    Connecticut
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Joe Gaetjens played in France for a bit after the 1950 World Cup.
     
  24. wrench

    wrench Member+

    May 12, 2007
    NYC
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Mike Sorber also played in Mexico in the late 80's. IFRC. At around that time, it was the only soccer you could get on TV. Kle Coiman was a stud in those days. His nickmane was "malo leche".
     
  25. Roger Allaway

    Roger Allaway Member+

    Apr 22, 2009
    Warminster, Pa.
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    But Gaetjens wasn't really American. He was Haitian. He was one of three non-citizens on that 1950 team who were allowed under the FIFA rules in effect at time to play for the United States in that World Cup because they had declared their intention to become American citizens. Of the three, only Joe Maca eventually did become a citizen. Gaetjens and Ed McIlvenny never did.
     

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