Now that the European and Mexican seasons are essentially over (we’re looking at you Scandinavia), it’s time to look at some Americans abroad who could or should return home from overseas during the summer. Here are some players who might be playing in the states soon:
Jonathan Bornstein: After making a move to Tigres in the Winter of 2011, Bornstein has only managed a handful of appearances in Mexico. This lack of playing time has essentially taken him out of the National Team picture. If he wants to beat out the up and coming players on the U.S. team, he is going to need to regain the form he had with Chivas. A return to MLS could help this happen. If he did return, it might be with the Portland Timbers, who picked up his rights in the expansion draft.
Conor Doyle: Young strikers need games. At only 20 years old, Doyle got off to a hot start with Derby County, earning 19 appearances for the team. But as injuries and other factors took their toll, he became less relevant. When given the opportunity he has played well, such as with the U-20’s, but he could use a solid run of matches, something a loan to MLS could provide. Which MLS team with scoring problems this season wouldn’t take a player like Doyle? A move back to the states for Doyle is less likely than others, but stranger things have happened.
Robbie Findley: The last few years have been a roller coaster ride for Findley. He went from a sometimes starter with Real Salt Lake, to a starter, to a World Cup starter, to playing for Nottingham Forest in the Championship. However, despite making 25 appearances for Nottingham Forest and scoring 3 goals in his time with the club, he hasn’t quite caught on as some, including Forest’s manager, thought he might. Like Edson Buddle, MLS might be the best option for Findley to show his class. If he does come back it will have to be with Portland, who took his rights in the expansion draft.
Marcus Hahnemann: The big man from Seattle has been consistently linked with his hometown club for well over a year, but with the Sounders signing Michael Gspurning it seems less likely that Hahnemann will make his way back to the Northwest. Still, there are plenty of teams that would pay good money to have the kind of goalkeeping Hahnemann can provide, and after spending most of his time on the sidelines for Everton, the timing might be right for him to come home. The question is whether or not he will want to come back without going to Seattle. The Timbers could use his skills, but does he dare move to Portland?
Charles Kazlauskas: After spending his entire career in Holland it may be time for the best outside back U.S. fans have never heard of to come home. Currently playing with Helmond Sport in the Dutch First Division, Kazlauskas would give any team in MLS a steady outside back, similar to what Robbie Russell did for Real Salt Lake when he returned from Europe.
Dominic Cervi: Only 25, but with several years of experience with a top-level European club, Cervi would be an asset on any MLS team. Since signing with Celtic in 2008, the former Tulsa player hasn’t made an appearance for the Bhoys but has made a handful of starts for lower-side Greenock Morton. Cervi may not come back to the U.S. and be an automatic starter, but he could take the same path as Tally Hall and wait for his opportunity. He would make a perfect understudy for a player like Matt Reis, or could even push someone like Ryan Meara for a starting spot.
Ryan Miller: Cut from two MLS sides, Ryan Miller went to Sweden and made a name for himself. In total, he has made 43 appearances for Halmstads BK and has parlayed that into an invitation to a U.S. camp. It might be hard for Miller to leave Sweden and return to a league that shunned him, but if given the right circumstance, Miller may be tempted to give MLS another shot.
Anton Peterlin: Peterlin went form being an unknown playing in the PDL with the Ventura County Fusion, to signing with Everton. While he didn’t make a first team appearance for the Toffees, he did pick up good experience with the reserves, and later Plymouth Argyle and Walsall. Currently a free agent after being released by Walsall, it might be time for Peterlin to move home and show MLS teams what they missed out on.
Frank Simek: Injuries have not been kind to the capped American, but when he has been healthy, he is an excellent outside back. Despite the injuries, Simek managed to stay on the radar of the National Team, earning an invite to camp in March 2010. Currently Simek is starting and often captaining Carlisle in League One. It’s hard to imagine that League One is better than MLS, so a move back to the states could be a way for Simek to boost his profile once again. He’s only 27 and should be a free agent this summer.
Eugene Starikov: Another player that slipped through the cracks of the American system, at 23 Starikov is still improving. He came onto the U.S. radar after starring for Tom Tomsk on loan from Zenit St. Petersburg. After returning to the mother club this year, he hasn’t played in a match and could be looking to move on. Starikov has always been a possession player with good feet and could find the new MLS, one beginning to favor more technical skill, something worth his time. It also might help him get back on the National Team radar.
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