Clark makes Eintracht debut in 3-3 draw

Ricardo Clark 3 (Getty Images)

Ricardo Clark ended his five-month drought from playing at the club level by making his debut for Eintracht Frankfurt in its 3-3 draw at Mainz on Saturday.

Clark started and played 90 minutes as a central midfielder in a match that saw Eintracht lose its lead on two occasions. The tie was Clark's first match at the club level since playing for the Houston Dynamo in the Western Conference Final on Nov. 13.

Clark now has a performance to build on as he looks to play in Eintracht's final two games of the season before the U.S. national team convenes for its pre-World Cup camp on May 17.

What did you think of Clark's performance? Should he start next to Bradley in the World Cup? Think he's capable of turning in performances like he did in the Confederations Cup?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Americans Abroad. Bookmark the permalink.

62 Responses to Clark makes Eintracht debut in 3-3 draw

  1. war says:

    Good for him. Very good step in the right direction. Edu’s been playing longer and has been scoring goals though, so I think we should stick with Edu. The camp squad is looking a lot better than what we were probably thinking it would be a couple months ago.

  2. Freddy says:

    Happy for Rico. If he starts Frankfurt’s last few games he should start next to Bradley.

  3. Randall says:

    Toss up right now between Edu and Rico. It probably comes down to their performances in the upcoming camp and pre WC friendlies.

  4. Warren says:

    I’m also in favor of Edu over Clark as starter, even if Clark plays 90 in each of Frankfurt’s last few games.

    Edu is as a good a defender as Clark, and brings more creativity, passing and goals. With Bradley alongside we already have a defensive ball winner type.

  5. dunbar says:

    I love edu, but he doesnt have the same experience that rico has, and he plays a lot like bradley. We need more of a defensive midfielder so Bradley can go up at times and not leave the center exposed. I wish Jermaine would have gotten healthy

  6. Warren says:

    And did you notice who led Frankfurt in fouls? Yep our guy. There’s a higher risk of a bad foul and a sending off with Clark at Cup too.

    Assuming Edu stays healthy he starts, Clark comes in if we have a lead to protect.

  7. bob says:

    What no Cards??? are you sure this is Rico Clark

  8. CSD says:

    It look likes from that picture that he has been waiting to eat until he got into a match. He looks extremely skinny.

  9. Hood Rich says:

    Edu has better technique than Clark. Clark relies on his athleticism too much. Edu > Clark.

  10. Mike says:

    Edu should play, not Bradley.

    Also, where is the video of the Altidore headbutt?!

  11. Mike says:

    Sorry, I meant Clark, not Bradley.

    It should be Bradley and Edu in the middle, Dempsey, Bedoya and Donovan as attacking mids with Alidore the lone striker.

  12. war says:

    ok, but, he’s a risky tackler. I thought he’d be the 3rd USA player to be sent off in 2 weeks with Herc and Jozy before him.

  13. Austin says:

    I believe Rico is a much more tenacious holding midfielder than Edu and he really doesnt allow any team much room alot like Nigel De Jong, but if i was to pick who should play next to Bradley i would say Holden. If Holden is 100% by the tottenham match, Coyle said he would play and hopefully he can have another good CM outing to impress BB b/c i was shocked at how good he looked in his EPL debut b4 his injury…..Here is my CM order: 1 Bradley

    2 Holden 3 Rico 4 Edu 5 Feilhaber 6 Torres

  14. Austin says:

    btw, who actually watched the game? does he look like starting next week….for those of you who watched him?

  15. littlerockant says:

    I’m happy he finally got off the pine! He’s a very good player and was starting to show more class on the ball and decisiion making skills before he left so hopefully this time on the bench doesn’t hurt his progress. Anyone have a review on his performance?

  16. andrew in tampa says:

    I am tired of all the assumptions that Bradley is our best center mid. Don’t see it. Not a great tackler, pretty slow and not a great reader of the game. i am not saying he’s a bad player.Don’t see him as the automatic first choice every game.

  17. littlerockant says:

    oh and MY squad would have be a 4-3-3 with EDu Bradley and Clark in the midfield…with Dempsey Donovan and Altidore up top…why not?!?!

  18. Warren says:

    agreed re the risky tackles…

  19. tim says:

    Is this the US national team pool??? debating which midfielders playing in top leagues should be starting? we have come a long way folks….

  20. FulhamPete says:

    Why not?
    Too much pressure on our susceptible LB/RBs.

  21. Austin says:

    have you watched him play in the bundesliga recently? go on espn360, watch todays monchengladbach match and tell me how what you just said makes any sence

  22. Austin says:

    I like it, but BB wouldnt do it

    Boca and Spector would have etra help from the 3 CM’s Pete, so they wouldnt have more pressure

  23. Felix says:

    I’d rather he play than not play, but I’d still go with Edu.

  24. jig says:

    well since hes a defensive midfielder, that’s not that surprising.

  25. jig says:

    i guesssss, edu plays in scotland which is not a strong league, let alone “top”, and Clark has been in Germany for 5 months and just started his first match.

  26. Wayne says:

    “Edu is as a good a defender as Clark, and brings more creativity, passing and goals. ”

    Edu has yet to score for the US. Rico has two goals for the US, one of them very important.

  27. Texas says:

    Austin,

    You should know by now that when it comes to M. Bradley the facts have very little to do with how people react to him.

  28. ThaDeuce says:

    interesting how there are so many opinions on edu v clark today, but no one seems informed on today’s match. I’m curious how he looked also.

  29. golfstrom says:

    let me guess, you think our best cm is torres

  30. golfstrom says:

    same ppl haven’t seen edu play recently either, it’s quite funny. p.s. good for rico to play 90 today, good player.

  31. sandtrout says:

    Yeah, but we’re scouring the NASL for defenders and forwards.

  32. Matt Snyder says:

    I understand — good comments and very true, but won’t Bradley JUST focus on RECENT play and results for his selection ??

    I think this fact may push Edu ahead of Clark. Edu has played alot recently and is match fit and game sharp. I think i’d rether have him next to Bradley jr…becuase having “two yello cards waiting to happen” in the central midfield scares the hell out of me. Not being sharp leads to poor field decisions (tackles…).

    i guess we will se in a few weeks….

  33. Vik says:

    lol, this is such a classic thread.

  34. Gopher says:

    That’s what DM’s do. They are always at a higher risk level for cards than most players due to the nature of their job. Particularly if they have the kind of skill deficit that most US players do.

  35. Chris in Belfast says:

    That right there’s crazy talk.

    Michael Bradley is *easily* the best center-mid the US has.

  36. Chris in Belfast says:

    Aaaaaaand, that’s what happens when you don’t read on. My apologies, Mike.

  37. JJ's shin says:

    Edu better than Clark all day long. but i’m glad to see Clark getting a shot at Frankfurt.

  38. Isaac says:

    Austin, Bradley played basically the same lineup against Costa Rica. It didn’t do well, but the personnel that did the worst (Beasley, Wynne, Mastroeni) aren’t in his lineup and have been replaced by Bocanegra, Spector, and Edu/Clark.

  39. Isaac says:

    I like Edu better because he reads the game a lot better than Clark, tackles better, and knows when/how to step in and break up attacks before/when they get dangerous. Morever, Edu is MUCH more comfortable on the ball than Ricardo. He has good touch, a nice passing eye, is a better mover of the ball, and distributes the ball sharper. He had one great through ball to Steve Cherundolo against South Africa which the Hannover defender finished. I think this leads to slightly better possession, therefore less chances for the other team, and more chances for the USA.

    Another suggestion that I heard earlier on this thread and have thought about for a while now is Stuart Holden as a central midfielder. Holden has a lot of poise and composure on the ball. This leads to less giveaways and errors not just from him, but from the players around him and it may help he USA calm down in tough situations. He’s got plenty of endurance and bite, so there’s no question of what his effort on the defensive side, and he’s an attacking midfielder in a pretty similar mold of Sacha Kljestan, who also paired well with Michael Bradley until he fell out of form. I’d like to see this:

    —————–Altidore———Dempsey————

    ————————–Donovan——————–

    ——————Holden–Bradley—-Edu————-

    Bocanegra———–DeMerit—–Onyewu—–Cherundolo

    ————————–Howard———————

    I know this is the same formation that made Costa Rican’s smile, but hear me out. For starters, Bocanegra and Cherundolo are all around better defenders than Beasley and Wynne, who were involved in each goal. Beasley had a poor pass on the first goal, Wynne was beaten on the second goal, and Beasley was poorly positioned on the third goal. Edu not only has the ability to read the game and make great tackles, but he has the athleticism to help him defensively, while Mastroeni just couldn’t deal with Costa Rica’s passing and movement through the midfield. Holden showed pretty well against Costa Rica and Honduras, and started off nicely against Holland before he got injured. I would also say that Holden provides better energy and bite than Torres, although Torres was one of the few standouts that game. The attack in that game didn’t play well because it barely existed. The USA couldn’t take possession from Costa Rica, so they could rarely feed Altidore, Dempsey and Donovan. This lineup would have Edu sitting in front of the defense while Bradley and Holden cover ground and track after the ball. Donovan would float anywhere in that space in between the central midfielders and central forwards. I know this doesn’t seem all that different from the 4-4-2 that Bradley played against Costa Rica(home) and Honduras(away), but I honestly think this would work better.

  40. war says:

    Edu hasn’t been called up for the US as often because of injury so that comparison is irrelevant. That’s like saying Ching is a better goalscorer than Herculez for the US even though Herc only has single digit caps.

  41. bryan says:

    no way. Edu over Clark.

  42. Megan says:

    If Rico doesn’t have any fouls, he’s doing something wrong. People think because he got sent off in the Confederations Cup and the whole Carlos Ruiz thing that he’s a card machine, but really he isn’t any more reckless than most defensive midfielders.

  43. Warren says:

    Edu scored several game-winning goals recently for Rangers, you may have heard he’s a hero there now.

    Rico’s a good player, I like him too, I just don’t rate him over Edu.

  44. Warren says:

    I understand; and I’m hoping Rico gets schooled by the Bundesliga refs on the difference between a hard foul and a card before the Cup campaign starts.

    Bradley seems to have learned, I’m sure Rico can too.

  45. Warren says:

    Rico’s been sent off not just in Confed Cup though that was a biggie.

    Again, I understand Rico’s role and likelihood a DM will commit fouls.

    But after USMT’s experiences with red cards at last World Cup and last summer at Confed Cup, I see a trend which i hope we can stop.

    I’m just hoping USMNT players have learned the lesson that they can’t go flying in like it’s MLS at international level and expect to get away with it.

    Edu to me seems a safer bet in a high-pressure atmosphere where a card could kill our chances of getting out of 1st round. Just my opinion of course.

  46. Warren says:

    I’m assuming Dempsey starts up top and Holden takes his place wide mid.

    But accepting your assumption, here’s my CM ranking:

    1 Bradley 2 Edu 3 Holden 4 Torres 5 Rico 6 Feilhaber

  47. Warren says:

    Bradley got the assist on the goal today which got his side a tie today versus Bayern Munich, sounds to me like he played well against the Bundesliga’s best.

  48. Warren says:

    As long as you keep the 4 in the back that’s cool.

    Donovan played essentially the role you prescribe for him in a game or 2 for Everton, seemed to go well.

    But: Donovan, our best player, is most comfortable playing wide left, is as part of a 4 man midfield.

    And I say give the man what he wants.

  49. Dave says:

    A 4-3-1-2 leaves our outside backs WAY to exposed. We need a midfielder sitting on top of them if that happens so Bradley has the freedom to defend and create.

    Put it this way: Bradley is higher up the pitch and out of positition, Boca is overlapping Holden and the ball is turned over, a counter attack ensues and Demerit has to slide over to play wing. There is no one to slide back to cover the middle because Bradley is up the field.

    Our fullbacks aren’t good enough to play a 4-3-1-2.

  50. JohnC says:

    Ching IS a better goal scorer for USA!!!!!! Jesus, so now the guy scores 10 goals in Mexico and now he has imaginary goal scoring prowess for the national team. Just wow, you’re right, Ching is not a better goal scorer for the national team then Gomez or Buddle or while were at it I heard some 12 year old had a hat trick down the street from me against some older kids wearing Mexican and MLS jerseys so we should probably toss him into the mix as having the potential to be as good as Ching for the national team.

  51. JohnC says:

    And consensus is no one actually watched the game.

  52. Luis says:

    Here’s a thought, ” take a seat JR. ” Mo n Ric can start. Bradley comes in off da bench.

  53. rbenjamin says:

    Rico doesn’t string passes together very well. And he’s a little reckless at times.Maybe in a dump and chase strategy v England he plays otherwise I prefer Edu then Torres.

    Tied with Hercules is a kid that just signed with Man U. The Mexican league is better than MLS a league Ching wasn’t lighting up and won’t be playing in for a few more weeks.

  54. Der_Amerikanische_Kaiser says:

    Clark played okay, had about 45 touches and 70% of his passes were good. Unfortunately, Clark could have stopped two of Mainz goal’s.

    He will probably get a 4 or 4.5 Note out of 6.

    You decide:

    link to footytube.com

  55. Astan says:

    I just looked at the Frankfurt forum and the fans are happy about Clark’s performance. He should become a regular if he can keep it up.

  56. Fireball says:

    I just think someone should reply to Andrew the Torres Fan (TM) by saying:

    He’s a good, aggressive tackler who is hard to play against (Borussia depend on him for it); he’s fast enough; he’s a very good reader of the game (that’s what made him a goal-scorer in Holland and produce the occasional through-ball in Germany). I see him as a first choice USMNT midfielder.

  57. Fireball says:

    Any team with half a winger would shred this team to bits.

  58. Wayne says:

    Edu has been hurt a lot, huh? And that’s not relevant?

    80% of life is about showing up.

  59. Wayne says:

    Too bad Bundesliga refs won’t be the same as the ones in SA. The World Cup is always reffed at a different standard.

    The reason US players seem to get so many cards is because they aren’t as skilled as the opposition so they are more often in a position where they have to do things that can more easily be called fouls by neutral refs.

  60. Ewan says:

    Holden would be a better central midfield partner for Bradley than Edu, Clark or Torres. Let him take care of the defensive end of things and let Bradley push up.

    He is a better passer of the ball than Rico or Edu and he is less likely to get overrun that JFT.

  61. war says:

    If you actually read my post, I said that the comparison is irrelevant, it’s unfair, you can’t do it. You can’t compare someone with many caps to someone with only a few.I did not say herc is better, even though I do think that. Next time you bash, make sure you make sense of the little symbols on the page. Still though, if Herc or Buddle can put in a brace in any of the upcoming friendlies they’d show they’re better because the only brace Ching has gotten for the US has been against Barbados. They’d also tie with Ching for the goals he’s scored in 2009 and 2010.

  62. Rex says:

    Clark is a better choice then Edu if he is match fit since sitting on the bench for months. Nobody likes Clark because he is not a pretty player. He can break up any offense and make the game look sloppy. It doesnt look good, but its effective.