Findley Signs, Rising Tides

Thursday, December 23, 2010 | View Comments
Robbie Findley has signed with Nottingham Forest of the English Championship. Despite rumors that the former RSL striker had interest from Mick McCarthy at Wolves, going to Forest is a good move for Findley. Hopefully Findley grows as a player and refines some of the natural ability he certainly possesses.

In this part of the world, there is some understandable surprise that Findley garnered as much attention as he did. Having seen him play over the last few years and in South Africa (where he supposedly caught the eye of the aforementioned McCarthy, who might want to have his eyes checked), Americans will have to fight the urge to chuckle that anyone on Forest's level would want Findley. Point for Robbie and his agent however; his decision to not re-sign with RSL paid off in the end.

If Findley is used properly, meaning as a speedy option off the bench, he can be effective. In those situations, his speed and freshness give him an advantage he can use to stretch worn out defenders. Findley has much less impact as a starter, something Bob Bradley should have learned this summer.

When the rumors were flying that Robbie might land in Wolverhampton, I considered writing that his getting a job in the Prem (if it happened) would an encouraging sign for American players. If Robbie Findley, a player well down the list of MLS strikers and likely not even a top five American MLS striker, could get a Premier League side (even a bottom tier one like Wolves) to sign him, then things have changed fairly dramatically on the Americans-in-England front.

Findley signing with a Championship club (though it is a strong Championship club with a rich history) takes some of the steam out of that, but it's still true to a point. Findley was injured when he made his Atlantic crossing, yet still managed to land a contract with a club sitting in a reasonably high level. Either Forest knows something we don't, or Findley's reputation beyond American shores is much better than we imagined. There's something to said for familiarity breeding contempt, and for a rising tide lifting all boats.

Whether the tide is rising due to the American performance in South Africa, Donovan's loan success at Everton, Holden's brilliance at Bolton, Dempsey's continued strong play for Fulham, or all of the above, it will probably take more than one striker signing with a second division club to prove we've reached a new high water mark.  Nevertheless, Findley's success at finding a European gig outside of the Scandinavian leagues may encourage other Americans to follow suit.  There's the work permit issue to consider (Findley shouldn't have too much trouble, by the way), of course, but that shouldn't stop at least a few Yanks from thinking abroad earlier than they may have before (especially those with access to a European passport).  Either the bar is coming down, or Americans are getting more due.  For players looking to towards Europe, it doesn't really matter which is true.  In that way, players on Findley's level receiving attention, garnering offers, and signing contracts is a double-edged sword for MLS fans. 

MLS and USMNT fans outside of Portland (the Timbers hold Findley's MLS rights via the Expansion Draft) should be happy for Findley, even while they're scratching their heads.  It's easy to joke about Forest needing a player who could dribble the ball over the endline consistently, or wonder aloud if they watched the same World Cup we did, but there's a reasonable chance Findley will play well enough to make it worth Forest's while.

For the reputation of Americans in England (though every player is an individual, and viewing all Americans through the same lens is folly, etc.) let's hope he succeeds.  For the ability of MLS to keep talented Americans in the league for a little bit longer, the damage might already be done.

blog comments powered by Disqus
    KKTC Bahis Siteleri, Online Bahis



    Privacy Policy