In an interview with the Associated Press, U.S. men’s national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann says that Major League Soccer has sent a “serious signal” that it wants the best American players back in the U.S. with last week’s acquisition of Michael Bradley by Toronto FC and Clint Dempsey’s move to the Seattle Sounders last August. The former World Cup winner, speaking from the USA’s training camp in Sao Paulo, also indicated that more such deals could be underway.
"We are not there yet, and we know that,'' Klinsmann said. ''But it's exciting. The players who are in Europe, many of them some big players, are now back in MLS. Suddenly they bring back a Clint Dempsey from Tottenham, they bring back a Michael Bradley from AS Roma, and they are working on other players as well. This is huge for soccer in the United States."
Klinsmann in the past has been openly critical of some of the USA’s best players for not wanting to challenge themselves at the highest level in Europe’s top leagues. Even so, the German, who moved to California in 1998, reflected on what a stronger MLS means for his work U.S. national team coach. "We said a couple of years ago that we wanted to be one day in the top 10, top 15 in the world,'' he said. "We have to develop better players, we have to develop better coaches, and it's not going to happen overnight, but we will keep working and the MLS is helping us a lot."