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Americans playing in MLS: Good or Bad?

Brek Shea is a talented young American soccer player who is going to get a great opportunity to play in the MLS that he might not have had elsewhere.

Brek Shea is a talented young American soccer player who is going to get a great opportunity to play in the MLS that he might not have had elsewhere.

By: Ruben Rivas

US men’s national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann seems to be going back and forth on whether he wants Americans to be playing in the MLS. He doesn’t want top players like Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore or Michael Bradley losing opportunities to play against top European competition but for guys like Miz Diskerud or Matt Besler or Omar Gonzalez, he feels that if it gives them the best opportunity to play in a significant role, they should take it.

But for his team to really get better, the MLS has to grow and has to be a league that will excite Americans to a point where soccer just becomes a part of their lives, making the sport more appealing for top athletes to start playing.

Americans coming back to play in the MLS is a good thing. Americans will follow a sport when they have fellow countrymen to follow and cheer for. It’s a country that loves sports and little by little, soccer is becoming more important to the regular sports fan base. Adding more Americans to the local league will only help accelerate that process.

The average American sports fan will recognize the name of Tim Howard or Dempsey or Altidore or Bradley or Jermaine Jones.

Last summer, Jones, after an incredible showing in the World Cup, move to the MLS and made a huge impact with the New England Revolution.

This winter, Altidore, Diskerud and Brek Shea made their way to the MLS, for Altidore, it was back to the MLS.

Altidore returns to the MLS to Toronto FC after spending some time in the English Premier League. At 25-years-old, he’s still a young stud the US team is and has been building around. He is the big-strong striker that every MLS coach wants and what’s even better is that he’ll be playing with national team friend Michael Bradley. In Europe, there are so many countries and teams they never played anywhere near each other but in Toronto, those two can help build the league and make playing together second nature.

Diskerud is a very promising young player coming into the MLS for the first time. Though he was born in Norway and has played his senior career in his home country, his American mother has given him dual citizenship and he was recruited to play for the USA. He was on the World Cup team, though he didn’t see any action, but in four years, he is for sure going to be a top player.

He is big, fast, strong and very skilled with the ball at his feet. The 24-year-old is going to become a well-known name that Americans are going to rally around in four years as he is a key player for the national team. He’s making his name with New York FC, next to all-time greats David Villa and Frank Lampard.

Shea didn’t make the World Cup Squad, but the 24-year-old who has spend two seasons with Stoke City in the Premier League, has 27 appearances and two goals for the national team. But he’ll be put in a much better situation for playing time at S.C. Orlando City next to Brazilian super-star Kaka. That sort of playing time and experience next to a great will only help him get better and in turn, make American soccer better.

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