U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann recently said that the long MLS offseason is a handicap for American-based players, claiming it leaves them on unequal terms “physically” with players around the globe, who compete for 11 months a year.
The message is being received, loud and clear, as more MLSers than ever before are heading abroad to train this offseason, with several of the moves orchestrated by the new U.S. boss himself.
Last month, courtesy of Klinsmann, the Red Bulls’ 19-year-old striker Juan Agudelo worked out with VfB Stuttgart, where the U.S. coach spent five years early on in his career. Later this month Agudelo will join Premier League giants Liverpool for a two-week training stint.
Agudelo will be the second American at the legendary club, as 17-year-old U.S. youth international Marc Pelosi (remember the name) is already a member of the Reds’ development academy.
Beyond Anfield, numerous other Americans will be sprinkled across European training grounds this holiday season.
Here’s a list:
Robbie Rogers, MF, Columbus—FC Kaiserslautern
Kyle Beckerman, MF, Real Salt Lake—FC Kaiserslautern
Tim Ream, D, New York—Bolton, West Brom
Jeff Larentowicz, MF, Colorado—Bolton
Teal Bunbury, F, Kansas City—Bolton
Bill Hamid, GK, DC United—West Brom
Perry Kitchen, D/MF, D.C. United—SC Freiburg
Zach Pfeffer*, MF, Philadelphia—Hoffenheim
Brek Shea, MF, FC Dallas—Arsenal
Omar Salgado, F, Vancouver—Fulham
There have also been reports that Chicago keeper Sean Johnson could be headed to Manchester United.
*Pfeffer is 16.