A young, promising USMNT prospect such as CJ Sapong might be best served training abroad during the MLS off-season.(Photo by G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images)
Steve Davis, writer at The Daily Fix on SB Nation, wrote a piece yesterday about USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann's desire for future prospects to train abroad during the MLS off-season.
According to Davis' article, he has spoken to Sporting KC officials, and although nothing is set in stone, it appears forward CJ Sapong may very well be one of the players Klinsmann has his eye on, and who perhaps is considering training overseas.
From Davis' post:
I talked to Kansas City officials the other day, just after young striker C. J. Sapong put his name on Major League Soccer’s list of Rookie of the Year winners. (Congrats, C.J.! Love the Twitter handle, by the way, @BigAfrika88. It’s got panache.) Officials there say nothing is set, but that BigAfrika88 is looking at possible options for training abroad.
Sure seems like Klinsman has made training overseas a prerequisite to really be considered for national team duty, or at least he's steering the USMNT ship in that direction. It's already been confirmed that FC Dallas forward Brek Shea will train with Arsenal this off-season, and DC United goal keeper Bill Hamid will train with West Brom. And although I don't necessarily buy into Klinsmann's idea that the MLS season is not long enough, having a player like Sapong train with a club abroad during the MLS off-season should only help to cultivate CJ's talents. Which is good for CJ, good for his USMNT prospects, and good for his future with Sporting Kansas City.
It's also nice hearing that CJ is in the conversation for the USMNT. Come to think of it, there are a few Sporting KC players that have been linked with national team talk as of late. CJ, Teal Bunbury (who's already receiving call ups from Klinsmann, although he never actually plays), Graham Zusi, and Chance Myers. With all the troubles the national team has had at the center back position, I'm still baking my noodle as to why Matt Besler hasn't been in the conversation in the least bit. But then again, when you already have Michael OrozcoFiscal, and Tim Ream , why would you need a smart, saavy player like Besler? And if the MLS Defender of the Year, Omar Gonzalez, can't even get a call up from Klinsmann, then I don't know why I'd expect Matt to get one either.