[AMERICANS ABROAD] Midfielder Kyle Beckerman and several other U.S. national team players are going to stay in Europe a bit longer for offseason training, with Germany the preferred destination.
MLSsoccer.com reported Wednesday that Beckerman, Robbie Rogers, Juan Agudelo and Perry Kitchen would start training camps in Germany this week.
Beckerman told the Real Salt Lake Web site of a pending visit to Kaiserslautern that was arranged by U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann:
“Although I'm not sure exactly how long I'll be training, the plan was to train for a few weeks. So far we have been treated very well and I'm looking forward to this new experience.”
A Project-40 signing right out of high school in 2000, Beckerman has played his entire pro career in MLS, with Miami, Colorado, and RSL.
Also set to train with Kaiserslautern, the club where former U.S. international Thomas Dooley rose to prominence, is Crew midfielder Rogers. His MLS contract is about to expire and he’s researching a move back to Europe 4 1/2 years after a nine-month stint in the Netherlands with Heerenveen, where one his teammates was Michael Bradley.
New York striker Agudelo, whose playing time diminished in the second half of the MLS season, has lined up a stay with VfB Stuttgart, the club with which Klinsmann's career pro career took off. He will be accompanied by D.C. United rookie defender Kitchen; he and Agudelo have been in Germany for past 10 days at a U.S. U-23 training camp.
Following his U.S. appearances against France and Slovenia, FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea will report for his training stint with Arsenal. Gunners’ coach Arsene Wenger attended the France-USA match last Friday and complimented the play of Shea and several other players.
United keeper Bill Hamid has been working out with English Premier League club West Bromwich Albion; West Brom has called it trial, United says he's there for training only.
Since taking over as head coach, Klinsmann has bemoaned the relatively short MLS season and encouraged players to find ways to get extra work. He has arranged a few of the German visits and with the help of his coaching staff is arranging others.
Unless they are signed to transfer deals, head back to Europe for further training, or go out on loan, these players are expected to attend a U.S. training camp in early January, with the first game of 2012 provisionally scheduled for Jan. 19 against an opponent to be named.