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Article: The Future of Stalteri and Friend at 'Gladbach


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Will Borussia's Canada Connection be Broken?

Paul Stalteri will be looking, Rob Friend will be waiting.

by

Andreas Plum

While Rob Friend must come to terms with a substitute role with Raul Bobadilla coming back to the starting eleven, despite starting on Saturday in the game against Hannover 96, Paul Stalteri hasn't trained with the Mönchengladbach since the 8th round of the Bundesliga. Both professionals are surely not happy with their current roles, but each will handle it differently.

Paul Stalteri, under contract until the summer of 2011 is obviously looking for a change. "We'll be looking around. Paul isn't a youngster anymore and naturally wants to play. If something suitable comes up, we'll be very interested in looking at it. Nothing concrete has come up yet. Paul also has a big contract, which might pose a problem. So we will have to wait and see", says agent Dr. Andreas Kirsch.

It appears that Rob Friend isn't wasting time thinking about his situation. "Rob is very much a straightforward and honest type. He knows what he has in Gladbach. The fans love him and he loves the fans. So it suits everone. If Rob can stay injury free, he doesn't have to worry about being overshadowed by anyone. Nevertheless, one must wait and see how things develop.", says agent Dr. Andreas Kirsch.

It looks like Paul Statleri's wish to pursue a transfer will be OK'd. Borussia doesn't want to put any hurdles in the way of the Canadian, who has nothing to be ashamed of and did his share in keeping the team safe from relegation last season. If the 32 year old leaves Gladbach, there are Tobias Levels, Tony Jantschke, Rückkehrer Sebastian Schachten und Jan-Lukas Pirschel as choices for right back.

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I hope Friend DOESN'T consider coming anytime soon. Let's not pretend that MLS is a great move for every Canadian just because it has worked out extremely well for many. Julian is a perfect example - yeah, he's earning a fortune, but he is playing terribly and is obviously frustrated week-in week-out with the terrible quality/pace/football sense of many of his teammates (and coaches??). I think Friend would be essentially in the same position as Julian is now if he came to MLS.

As for Stalteri, I agree that he would be a great choice for Caps or another MLS side. Slow, but tough tackling, generally sound defenders near the end of their careers seem to have the potential to do very well in MLS, and Paul's conditioning alone (not to mention his wisdom) should buy him a few more years of a decent paycheque a la Jazic or Brennan.

BTW, thanks for the speedy translation, Ed!

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In a nut-shell:

- Stalteri isn't up to it at this level any more. I think if he is serious about continuing to be a part of the Canadian squads he needs to drop down to a level where we can at least identify that he is getting the minutes and making an impact. Championship, B2, MLS, you name it.... Which I assume means he is going to need to ditch some contract weight.

- As for Friend, the article was a bit more elusive wasn't it? Am I misreading it when I decipher that Friend is likely to adopt a substitute role at the club? But this is OK because he loves the club and is loved return? I can respect that, but it doesn't seem like the most exciting prospect for Rob. What exactly is his injury problem?

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Agree with nolando. I support Canadian soccer but to me, MLS' soccer style is bordering on a joke. I really wished De Guzman did not come back to Canada. We need more Canadians to move abroad and develop their skill set

Negative, we need more Canadians playing in the MLS first. As for Friend, he's not developing anymore sweetheart, and a move to MLS would be good.

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In a nut-shell:

- Stalteri isn't up to it at this level any more. I think if he is serious about continuing to be a part of the Canadian squads he needs to drop down to a level where we can at least identify that he is getting the minutes and making an impact. Championship, B2, MLS, you name it.... Which I assume means he is going to need to ditch some contract weight.

- As for Friend, the article was a bit more elusive wasn't it? Am I misreading it when I decipher that Friend is likely to adopt a substitute role at the club? But this is OK because he loves the club and is loved return? I can respect that, but it doesn't seem like the most exciting prospect for Rob. What exactly is his injury problem?

Re Friend. His agent seemed to contradict himself a bit. Saying how a healthy Rob had no fears but then said we'll have to wait and see. His problem last season was with his heel I believe and he had it aggravated over the Christmas break. Nothing long term sounding (like knee issues), so I don't know if he is considered a chronic risk. I would guess he largely wrote this season off due to his injury woes in the first half. If he is reduced to a super-sub role when he is fit for the season next year, perhaps he will be looking at his options.

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- Stalteri isn't up to it at this level any more. I think if he is serious about continuing to be a part of the Canadian squads he needs to drop down to a level where we can at least identify that he is getting the minutes and making an impact. Championship, B2, MLS, you name it.... Which I assume means he is going to need to ditch some contract weight.

So I wonder who is going to be the starting RB in South America later this month?

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Negative, we need more Canadians playing in the MLS first. As for Friend, he's not developing anymore sweetheart, and a move to MLS would be good.

To me Friend is a player who thrives off good service, which is why he is more effective with BM than CMNT. I really don't know if MLS would be good for him. Mabye a move to a lesser B1 team or a strong B2 team. I think he should stay in Germany though if he does decide to move. There use to be a Friend-Middlesborough link last year, hopefully that is an option before MLS at least.

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So I wonder who is going to be the starting RB in South America later this month?

A fine young talent by the name of Adam Straith, I suppose.

When the MLS players are available we also have Andrew Hainault who logs regular minutes as a wing-back for Houston. Nana could also be given the chance.

I think the problem with Paul is that he made his career in Europe being a very athletic, physical and intelligent player: he was never praised with being a superb passer or technical player. So when you put him in a team like Canada, where he is expected to be a creative and passing leader, he hasn't really been able to carry that burden and has gotten exposed.

Could never question his commitment to us though, and for that I will always respect him.

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The Whitecaps should be on the look out. It would be great if both could come to the MLS next season.

No way does Stalteri sign with a team that plays on artificial turf. He was BMO Field's biggest critic when the old stuff was in place, and I can't see him changing his position.

Friend is an obvious fit for Vancouver down the line.

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Negative, we need more Canadians playing in the MLS first. As for Friend, he's not developing anymore sweetheart, and a move to MLS would be good.

While I agree to your point that we need more Canadians in the MLS, I can't see Friend, a player already established in one of the best European leagues, make a step back and play in MLS, maybe in 3, 4 or 5 years when he'll be at the end of his career, but not now. As for Stalteri, he's already at the end of his career, so MLS could be a good move for him.

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It's one thing to think that a player is no longer developing (which i refute, because players always have something left to learn), but it's another to think that MLS would keep a MNT player battle tested the way a stronger league would. No f-in' way should Rob Friend be coming to MLS now, he still has alot to offer clubs in Europe. I think he'd even be better off dropping down to the B2 than returning to MLS.

My simple rule: If a Cdn MNT player has gas left in the tank and can keep himself playing at a stronger level than MLS, he should not come back.

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Negative, we need more Canadians playing in the MLS first. As for Friend, he's not developing anymore sweetheart, and a move to MLS would be good.

YES!...and more in league 1 as well....thats the way forward!....everyone drop down two divisions...thats whats best for canada!

seriously i am so tired of the MLS thing every time a canadian is looking for a move....friend is playing in BL1....move to MLS?!...seriously?....i do not see the advantage of any established player coming to MLS.....if it gives opportunity for new players to show their worth, great, i am all for the MLS, but to suggest that it is a place for our top canadians at the peak of their career is crazy....would everyone celebrate friend moving to milwall?...there is no difference in quality.....look at JDG...he looks bored out there.

i really fail to see the logic....am i the only one who thinks MLS is really low quality?...i find it hard to watch...

i totally support more canadians in MLS, but ones on the up swing....MLS's value is as a stepping stone and a place for exposure for our young guys...i see no value in having our best playing crap football just because it happens to be on our continent.

that being said, stalteri could come here but he would have to take 7 figures off his paycheque...he certainly isnt a DP type guy so he will have to make 100k like the others....he could probably get that in BL3....there might be other non professional reasons why he would come back...

Edited by trueviking
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Stalteri and Friend to St. Pauli?? :D

I agree with the comment earlier about Friend, he needs good service and whether or not he'd get that with the Whitecaps in MLS is still a question. If he can continue to play at a high level in Germany whether it is B2 or B1 I'd prefer to see him stay there.

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YES!...and more in league 1 as well....thats the way forward!....everyone drop down two divisions...thats whats best for canada!

seriously i am so tired of the MLS thing every time a canadian is looking for a move....friend is playing in BL1....move to MLS?!...seriously?....i do not see the advantage of any established player coming to MLS.....if it gives opportunity for new players to show their worth, great, i am all for the MLS, but to suggest that it is a place for our top canadians at the peak of their career is crazy....would everyone celebrate friend moving to milwall?...there is no difference in quality.....look at JDG...he looks bored out there.

There is a huge difference between Canadians playing in MLS and Canadians playing in League 1. The former is going to help us a lot compared to the latter which won't do jack.

Also, MLS is better than League 1.

Edited by Macksam
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My simple rule: If a Cdn MNT player has gas left in the tank and can keep himself playing at a stronger level than MLS, he should not come back.

I agree with that to an extent. For Friend's case, I see your point since he's playing in the Bundesliga and what not. However, for guys playing in Scandanavia, it would be more beneficial if they played over here.

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There is a huge difference between Canadians playing in MLS and Canadians playing in League 1. The former is going to help us a lot compared to the latter which won't do jack.

Also, MLS is better than League 1.

how exactly does someone playing for houston do more for canada than someone playing at milwall?

ok....low CCC then.....maybe.

edit...nope just watched the TFC game on PVR....league 1 tops.

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how exactly does someone playing for houston do more for canada than someone playing at milwall?

ok....low CCC then.....maybe.

edit...nope just watched the TFC game on PVR....league 1 tops.

Like I highlited in the Atiba Hutchison to PSV thread, which you didn't bother replying to, there are numerous benefits for Canada if our players play in MLS, especially Canadian MLS teams. A few obvious ones would be camaraderie amongst the players who would have relative experiences with each other, players being comfortable with each other's playing style and no jet lag from long plane rides across the Atlantic. How the f*ck would you get that from League 1? I think a lot of people on here would agree with me that we would make the World Cup by having at least thirty guys in the MLS, unlike our situation right now which is about 30 guys in League 1 and other second rate leagues across Europe.

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how exactly does someone playing for houston do more for canada than someone playing at milwall?

Hmm.... you would get to see him play far more often in Houston than at Milwall. And that ( as I have come to realize over the past few years) is a HUGE advantage, to us fans, the coaches, the national team.... etc. because as long as they stay where they are(in Europe), the NT coaches, fans and evaluators are at a significant disadvantage in regards to information . Seriously now, take away games that he played for Canada, how often have you ever seen Stalteri play in the past 10 years? For me, its very likely less than a handful of times. Once in a CL match between WB and lyon, maybe one or two matches with WB and about the same during his stay at Spurs. Even with the tremendous increase in soccer coverage on TV, we get to see mid level clubs only sporadically. Essentially, we have no idea what these players are truly capable of, what they are not capable of or even if they are any good at all. There are no means of comparison to assess their value or potential contribution to the NT as long as we have players scattered throughout Europe.

Instead we go by this from the Canadians abroad thread : " Started......played 78 minutes" ...... "or subbed in in the 65th minutes" ...."or unused subb....." . Once every blue moon, there is some bablefish three lines translated from German or soem second hand assessment or evaluation from and overseas contributors who are not going offend Canadian fans if a players performance is poor . I'm sorry but that doesn't tell me anything about Stalteri. It doesn't tell me if he better than Haineault or even Nana. It doesn't tell me how good he is. Playing MLS will answer those questions. One of my "eye opening" experiences of the past two WCQ is that I that I noted some Euro based players failed to outshine the MLS or even USL based players and yet, to this day you still see a significant bias here towards the Euro based player that we have never seen, that's pretty stupid. It shouldn't be that way and we should not come to that realization when WCQ has started.

Edited by Free kick
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Like I highlited in the Atiba Hutchison to PSV thread, which you didn't bother replying to, there are numerous benefits for Canada if our players play in MLS, especially Canadian MLS teams. A few obvious ones would be camaraderie amongst the players who would have relative experiences with each other, players being comfortable with each other's playing style and no jet lag from long plane rides across the Atlantic. How the f*ck would you get that from League 1? I think a lot of people on here would agree with me that we would make the World Cup by having at least thirty guys in the MLS, unlike our situation right now which is about 30 guys in League 1 and other second rate leagues across Europe.

Agreed. I'm not sure we'd make the WC but we have a better opportunity of getting to the Hex.

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Hmm.... you would get to see him play far more often in Houston than at Milwall. And that ( as I have come to realize over the past few years) is a HUGE advantage, to us fans, the coaches, the national team.... etc. because as long as they stay where they are(in Europe), the NT coaches, fans and evaluators at a significant disadvantage in regards to information . Seriously now, take away games that he played for Canada, how often have you ever seen Stalteri play in the past 10 years? For me, its very likely less than a handful of times. Once in a CL match between WB and lyon, maybe one or two matches with WB and about the same during his stay at Spurs. Even with the tremendous increase in soccer coverage on TV, we get to see mid level clubs only sporadically. Essentially, we have no idea what these players are truly capable of, what they are not capable of or even if they are any good at all. There is no standard measuring stick to assess their value or potential contribution to the NT as long as we have players scattered throughout Europe.

Instead we go by this from the Canadians abroad thread : " Started......played 78 minutes" ...... "or subbed in in the 65th minutes" ...."or unused subb....." . Once every blue moon, there is some bablefish three lines translated from German or soem second hand assessment or evaluation from and overseas contributors who are not going offend Canadian fans if a players performance is poor . I'm sorry but that doesn't tell me anything about Stalteri. It doesn't tell me if he better than Haineault or even Nana. It doesn't tell me how good he is. Playing MLS will answer those questions. One of my "eye opening" experiences of the past two WCQ is that I that I noted some Euro based players failed to outshine the MLS or even USL based players and yet, to this day you still see a significant bias here towards the Euro based player that we have never seen, that's pretty stupid. It shouldn't be that way and we should not come to that realization when WCQ has started.

QFT.

Agreed. I'm not sure we'd make the WC but we have a better opportunity of getting to the Hex.

Yeah, most definately.

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