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Technical Directors and the New MLS Talent
Southtown Star, March 24th, 2008 4:15PM
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It's one thing to spend a hoard of cash and a designated player slot on a player like David Beckham or Cuauhtemoc Blanco, but the majority of MLS clubs searching for (cheap) international talent are simply trying to fill their rosters, says Nick Firchau of the Southtown Star. As such, men like Frank Klopas, technical director of the Chicago Fire, are becoming more important.

Among other things, the technical director is charged with scouting and importing new talent. For MLS clubs, that talent -- in the short term at least -- is coming from foreign countries. "It's like throwing a dart at a bull's eye," Klopas says of scouting new talent. "At this point, you're just kind of hoping you hit it." Klopas comes to the Fire front office hoping to use his European soccer connections to help him bring in new talent. He'll be making plenty of trips abroad, where he'll seek to make closer ties with international players and coaches, in addition to convincing youngsters to go play in MLS. "We're looking at 10 players per trip," Klopas says. "We're always looking for that one guy who's going to make this team better and win us another championship."

Firchau points out that Klopas' job exists because of the recent, successful crossover of many foreign stars to MLS. Players like Beckham, Blanco, Juan Pablo Angel and Juan Toja have all made raised the quality of play in MLS, making it a more desirable place for youngsters to play.

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