After a stint in Europe that included a relegation, a loan, and just 27 first-team league matches (of which only 15 came with his original club, Eintracht Frankfurt), Ricardo Clark will return to city where he was a 2006 MLS Best XI and a 2007 All-Star, Houston.
The defensive midfielder will join the club pending Geoff Cameron’s receipt of a work permit, which would free up the salary space needed (Cameron makes $230k; Clark made $248k in 2009).
“We have been able to conclude a deal to bring Ricardo Clark back to Houston and making him a member of the Dynamo once again,” Dynamo president Chris Canetti told MLSsoccer.com. “We have been tracking his career in recent months and wondering if the opportunity would come up to reacquire him and now that it has, we were able to find a suitable agreement for all parties to bring him back.”
While the deal is finalized, Houston will have to wait to officially add Clark to the roster until outgoing center back Geoff Cameron’s move to English Premier League side Stoke City is completed. Cameron’s personal contract and a transfer agreement with his new club have been signed, but the deal is still pending him winning an appeal for a work permit, scheduled for August 8.
Until then, Clark will not be able to appear for the Dynamo in an MLS match, but can train with the club.
The Dynamo retained the rights to Clark after making a significant contract offer to retain his services in 2009. He’s expected to fit into the holding midfield role he played in his first stint with the club, which ran for four successful seasons starting in 2006.
After earning a roster spot with Frankfurt as a free agent in 2010, Clark was prompty injured. He returned in late February, but he sat on the bench until late April. He made a handful of appearances late in the 2009-10 season, but he never looked entirely sharp and struggled in his two appearances at the World Cup. He made eleven league appearances in 2010-11 (including some at centerback), but he was ultimately not a major factor and had all but disappeared after Frankfurt’s relegation and was in fact granted permission for a leave of absence to join the annual January camp with the Nats. He then trialed and was loaned to Stabæk in Norway, where he made twelve league appearances. He was released by Eintracht in July.
What are your thoughts? I always considered Clark a decent player (with some great moments with the Nats— he was one of the best players in the 2007 Gold Cup final and scored the lone [and critical] goal in a World Cup qualifying win at Trinidad and Tobago) who was probably in over his head at the Bundesliga level. There’s no shame in that. His 2.5-year run in Europe wasn’t overly successful, but I think he’s still a quality MLS player who can help reigning Eastern Conference champion Houston cope with the loss of Cameron. Plus, he once kicked Carlos Ruiz, and who hasn’t wanted to do that?
It’s also interesting that Clark, a player who often seemed better suited for centerback, will be replacing Cameron, a former midfielder who was always best-suited for centerback (although it sounds like Clark will play as a destroyer CM in Dominic Kinnear’s newfangled 4-3-3).
I also posted some highlights of Anthony Brooks and Alfredo Morales in a friendly against Juventus. It is looking like the U-20 center back, Brooks, could be in the starting lineup for Hertha Berlin in their season opener against Paderborn on Friday.
Also of note from the weekend, Charlie Davies came off the bench in Randers’ 2-1 win and Bobby Wood scored twice for 1860 Munich II in the Regionalliga. And in Finland, Christian Eissele scored four goals, while Daniel Stevens and Joey Spivack each scored once in Kemi Kings’ 8-0 win over Warkaus. Once the bigger leagues start up in the next couple weeks, I will bring back the full The OT Report for the weekends.
Rangers manager Ally McCoist said this weekend that Alejandro Bedoya was talking to Swedish side Helsingborgs about a transfer, but Bedoya’s agent denied the report to Yanks Abroad.
Geoff Cameron’s UK work permit appeal hearing has been set for August 8. Here is a random photo of Cameron in Stoke City training gear.
Chad Barrett will be headed to Norwegian club Vålerenga on loan through the rest of the 2012 season. Vålerenga also holds the option to buy at the end of the loan.
The US U-20 team finished fourth in last week’s Milk Cup after losing to Chile in the third place game.
Brian Sciaretta gives us 23 guys he thinks is Jurgen Klinsmann’s favored USMNT sqaud as of today.
I also want to point out that I might be light on posting and tweeting for the rest of this week as I make my annual summer pilgrimage to Chicago starting tomorrow to visit some family and friends (as well as check out Lollapalooza again).
Defending champions Nordsjaelland started their season this past weekend, but Michael Parkhurst missed the game with his broken toe from last season. But he is now back in training and should be game ready in a week or two.
Both Sean Cunningham and Ricardo Clark got the start as Stabæk were knocked out of Europa League on Thursday with only a 3-2 victory to JJK (lost 4-3 on aggregate). Here are highlights from the second leg.
Sean Cunningham went the full 90 minutes and Ricardo Clark got the start and played 79 minutes in Stabæk’s 2-0 loss to Finnish side JJK in the first leg of the first qualifying round of Europa League today. Here are some highlights.
Josh Gatt scored his second goal of the season in Molde FK’s 5-0 victory over Ricardo Clark, Sean Cunningham and Stabæk. Here are the highlights, including Gatt’s goal (it might take a few seconds to load up).
Remember when the US-Honduras World Cup qualifier in 2009 wasn’t on TV and was only available via closed circuit PPV? Well, the same company that bought those rights own the rights to the US-Guatemala qualifier on June 12, so the same thing could be happening. Steven Goff has all the details on that and the TV schedule for the other upcoming USMNT games. He also has the full Premier League TV schedule for this weekend.
The latest FIFA World Rankings were released today and basically everyone is in the same spot as last month (USA coming in at #29).
Stuart Holden tells The Bolton News that he plans to stay with Bolton whether they are in the Premier League or in the Championship next season.
Davidde Corran of ESPN.com recently did a Q&A with Jermaine Jones. According to some tweets, he is playing at center back tonight in Schalke’s friendly against the Philadelphia Union.
The Norwegian Cup had a bunch of games today and it is hard to find any full box scores on the games, but Ricardo Clark apparently scored in Stabaek’s 4-1 victory over Fana.
I posted the highlights earlier today, but Birmingham City were knocked out of the promotion playoffs to Blackpool. Jonathan Spector got the start, but was pulled out of the game with an injury. He has been banged up lately, so I wonder if he will be called into the USMNT camp.
Terrence Boyd scored two goals this past weekend in the Regionalliga. Here is the first goal and here is the second goal. Boyd is third in the Regionalliga West with 19 goals (Andrew Wooten is second with 20). Borussia Dortmund II are currently in first place of the Regionalliga West with a one point lead with two goals remaining. If they finish first, they would be promoted to the 3. Liga.
Thanks to Top Drawer Soccer, we now know about two Americans currently in the youth academies at Paris Saint-Germain.
Jurgen Klinsmann held a Q&A session on Twitter today. Of the bigger news announced, he will announce the European-based players for the upcoming games on May 15, while the MLS guys will be revealed on May 20. He will also select 29 guys, but will trim it down to 23 before the friendly against Scotland after holding a camp in Orlando.
American businessman Bill Miller has pulled his bid to buy Rangers after some hostility from fans.
They might be under financial crisis, but Stabaek will be playing in next year’s Europa League qualifying due to fair play rankings. That means some quality competition for Sean Cunningham and Ricardo Clark.
With FC Schalke in Philadelphia to take on the Union in a friendly this week, MLSsoccer.com got some quotes from Jermaine Jones about the possibility of playing in MLS in the future.