European clubs lining up bids for Schuler

BillySchuler (ISIPhotos.com)

The NCAA College Cup Final always has its share of scouts tracking the top talent, and last weekend's matches in Hoover, Alabama drew extra attention from foreign clubs interested in the handful of top pro prospects on display.

At the top of that list was North Carolina striker Billy Schuler, who helped lead the Tar Heels to their second NCAA title after scoring the vital equalizer in the semifinal win against UCLA last Friday. Club scouts from Scandinavia, Greece and Germany were among the observers watching Schuler last weekend and sources tell SBI that a handful of European clubs have been tracking Schuler throughout the college season and are preparing offers for the 21-year-old striker.

One of Major League Soccer's top targets for a Generation adidas contract, Schuler does have the option of signing with MLS, though with increased interested in him coming from Europe, Schuler could join fellow top MLS Draft prospect Darren Mattocks among college standouts set to pass on MLS to sign in Europe.

A redshirt junior set to graduate from North Carolina this winter, Schuler earned NCAA All-American honors after scoring 16 goals to help the Tar Heels complete their championship season.

Schuler has been listed as an invitee to the 2012 MLS Combine, in part because as a graduating junior he is eligible for the draft, but with Schuler having no plans of signing with MLS as anything but a Generation adidas signee, the inclusion of Schuler's name on the Combine list was more organizational error by MLS than an actual plan of Schuler taking part in the Combine.

With Schuler and Mattocks potentially moving to Europe, the 2012 MLS Draft could wind up losing two of its top five prospects, and two top Generationa adidas targets. If Schuler and Mattocks do move on, MLS would then likely turn their attention to college forwards Chandler Hoffman (UCLA), Dom Dwyer (South Florida), David Opoku and Sam Garza (UCSB).

MLS is expected to announce its 6-8 player Generation adidas class in the next week or so, with Andrew Wenger on the verge of signing as the top prospect in the class.

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62 Responses to European clubs lining up bids for Schuler

  1. timmytwoshoezzz says:

    Competition, a capitalist’s best friend.

    I wish him the best of luck wherever he goes. Lots of great opportunities out there in this world.

  2. strider says:

    It never hurts to check out your options. For me the key would be who is interested and my chances for playing time, and of course, how much $$. However, I do list $$ last, as it would be more important for me to have a chance to develop and play. However, if a BIG club offered me good money, where I obviously would not have much chance at immediate playing time, I would consider it as a great developmental opportunity. :>

  3. fischy says:

    Here’s the real questions: First, does he want to be in the USA or is he excited about the prospect of starting a new life in Europe? Second, even if he’d like to go to Europe, now or in the future, is he more likely to get the best deal now or if he spends a several years establishing himself in MLS?

    I don’t know the answers, but it seems to me those are the questions to ask oneself. One is personal and the other more speculative, but it seems to me that we’ve seen enough cases like Schuler’s to start having a basis to compare — to figure out which path is better for career development and which is the more lucrative in the long run.

  4. aargh says:

    head to Scandinavia. They’ll hook you up with $200 K even if you’re on the bench and you can test yourself against them.

  5. David St. Hubbins says:

    This is nuts… stay in MLS even if it pays less… you will get way more first team action here. What’s the point of going to europe and riding the pine? Would ruin his development arc.

  6. RK says:

    Heath Schuler’s son!

  7. chris says:

    You have no idea he would start in MLS either. Look what happened to salgado, he played like 3 games. Thats the problem with this league they value old has beens over young promising talent. If i was him i would take the paycheck in europe

  8. Ossington Mental Youth says:

    thats prob more Soehns fault than anything. He neglected alot of young talent when he took over

  9. Khan says:

    Go to Europe.

    Young players get the shaft in MLS, regardless of skill or ability. Omar Salgado should be a warning to younger players that if a decent offer comes from Europe you take it.

    Fun Fact:

    Seattle and Toronto are the only profitable clubs in MLS.

  10. away goals says:

    With zero concrete evidence to back this up, I’d argue the individual should always take the bigger paycheck immediately.

    European clubs will make substantial investments for potential. But the percentages aren’t in favor of any one player realizing that potential.

    Taking a few years to ‘establish himself in MLS’ would mean a lower salary early in his pro career with no guarantee that he’ll ever be worth the higher $$ he’d have already passed up.

  11. aargh says:

    The mob has spoken. Europe it is.

    To me if I were him i’d decide between Holland or Denmark/Sweden.

  12. Supsam says:

    if Seattle and Toronto spent like LA and NY, im sure they wouldnt be profitable either

  13. Supsam says:

    then again, its good to know that there are soccer clubs in this crazy world that are making coin

  14. Giggsy says:

    hmmmm…

    Bocanegra, Dempsey, Holden … established themselves in MLS and then made it “big” in Europe.

    can anybody think of anybody who skipped MLS recently and made it “big” in Europe? they mostly seem to bounce around for 3 or so years and then crawl back to MLS.

  15. Slyboy says:

    As El Paso native i can tell you Omar is good, but raw….very raw and with a bit of an attitude. Other then Omar i can give you 10 young players that made impacts on their teams… they were not shafted

  16. Charles says:

    Seattle wouldn’t be profitable spending $10 million or did you mean LA, Toronto and NY combined ?

    Either way my money is on still VERY profitable.

  17. Olly says:

    He should go to Toronto FC. He gets the chance to learn the European system and fundamentals from someone who knows them well. Will play in an offensive system suited to his skills, with an excellent striker to role model. And Winter et al have contacts in Europe to help him make that transition down the line if that’s what he want to do.

  18. Charles says:

    MLS has done such a great job in keeping talent here with not enough fan support…hopefully they can do it again this year.

    Either way, I can hardly wait for the offseason to end.

  19. Slyboy says:

    +1

    I actually cannot think of a recent example of a us (american born)player going to Europe as the first stop and then playing themselves into a big team or the national team. There are some older ones like Gooch.. Davies is now in MLS so he went reverse.Bedoya and Lichaj are the only ones I can think of.

    So common sense is against what everyone seems to be saying here

  20. David St. Hubbins says:

    you think europe is gonna be better for playing time???? lmao you are naive! salgado is the exception… and what’s to say a european club would have given him more first team minutes than vancouver did anyway? he still got 14 games.

    go down the 2011 list… nagbe, kitchen, valentin, soares, anibabas, sapong, bruin… they all got tons of first team action in MLS.

  21. Enos says:

    Really? I did not know that. He’s surely to be a dud as a pro now. ;-)

  22. David St. Hubbins says:

    Let this naive little boy make his own mistakes just like Agbossoumonde. MLS should stand pat with their offer and not go any higher. He probably has some snake scout pouring lies into his ears.

  23. Oyeoro says:

    Billy S. is far from naive. The kid hand a chance to leave college last year after a season plague with injury. He had enough clubs already sweating him. But, no he came back to UNC and DOMINATED. Go back and watch the UNC v. UCLA game and the final. The guys works hard as a pro-style forward than anyone else on the field. HE IS THE BEST TARGET FORWARD IN THE COLLEGE GAME, FULLSTOP.

  24. Supsam says:

    Lets hope this isnt a repeat of young potential withering away in europe aka mike grella, marcus tracy, Dominick Cervi….

  25. Starla says:

    So how many US players do you think can “play themselves into a big team” no matter what route they chose? There might be 1000 great talents for every successful player, and only 1 big team player out of 1000 successful players. In the end it’s up to the player to deliver and he will end up moving up the ladder if he’s good enough. Common sense says playing in a league which produces or sells many times the number of players to the bigger leagues might be the smart choice and makes the route to the biggest leagues shorter (if you’re good enough). But different routes for different players with different needs.

  26. biff says:

    I think almost all players on 2. Bundesliga teams also make at least six figures, with better players at bigger clubs able to make 300-400k or more. A lot of big 1. Bundesliga clubs put their young players on 2. Bundesliga teams to develop. Why shouldn’t a US kid do the same and make some decent money. It does not make sense for a young player with the chance to earn a good salary in Europe to opt instead to play in the MLS, which is squandering millions on over-the-hill former stars from Europe.

  27. David St. Hubbins says:

    I’ve watched that game twice, still have it recorded on the DVR. His goal was an easy tap in off a lucky deflection. Chandler Hoffman was the more impressive forward in that game, he assisted on both of UCLA’s goals despite having the best CB in college Matt Hedges marking him tightly.

    Not that big of a difference in quality between him, Hoffman, and Townsend right now. What will make the difference for those three over the next few years is first team minutes and development.

    “He had enough clubs already sweating him.”

    So did Agbossoumonde. Fat lot of good all that “interest” and all those empty promises did him.

  28. euroman says:

    It’s great that guys are not settling for the pennies MLS offers. Go to a higher league at higher wages and have a real career. Well done Schuler…now don’t be a punk and just be using this Euro stuff as leverage for an MLS contract.

  29. fischy says:

    Is he related to Heath Shuler?

  30. chris says:

    Agudelo? Stephens? Hertzog? Im just saying that he is guarenteed first team minutes in MLS as much as he is guarenteed in Europe

  31. BL says:

    Bedoya has done fairly well. Davies was on track before the accident. Gooch in belgium and now Portugal (AC Milan and Newcastle had nothing to do with MLS or not). Gatt is doing well and on track. Demerit…don’t recall if Goodson ever did MLS or not. It all depends on the situation they land in.

    I generally agree with you that MLS for a couple of years is a good thing (example: Bradley). As long as they the league allows them to make the transfer when the time is right.

  32. David St. Hubbins says:

    Where in Europe would an 18-19 year old kid like Agudelo get more than the 29 first team games he has had over the last 2 years?

    Stephens was the 16th pick, Schuler is a top 5 pick. Stephens has 50 first team games over the last 2 years. Again, where in Europe would he get more first team action than he has gotten in MLS?

  33. knolljus says:

    I would recommend going to Europe. The players rights being owned by the league in MLS fulfilled it’s purpose and now is outdated. Until that changes and the non designated player’s salaries increase it isn’t worth it. Look at Tim Ream for NYRB, dude makes 55k and lives in NY/NJ, that’s barely enough to afford a nice apartment. He would probably be making 300k playing in one of the lesser tier leagues in Europe. The pay disparity in MLS is a disgrace.

  34. slyboy says:

    Come on, before you start calling things a disgrace, learn a little bit and take into account that Tim Ream has been offered new contracts (with very sizable raises), it has been his choice to not take the pay raise and wait out his contract, same thing with Holden, he waited out his contract, he was being offered serious near DP money before he left. Good for them, but to say that MLS or their teams are not trying to pay up is misinformed.

  35. Joamiq says:

    No. Their names aren’t even spelled the same.

  36. slyboy says:

    Also a recent article with Seria A salaries was released recently….hint, pay disparity is rampant among that league as well as many of the “big leagues”. The EPL and Bundesliga do have fairly sizable payrolls across the board.

    How does the saying go? The grass is always greener on the other side

  37. slyboy says:

    GA candidates rarely make “pennies”… Most are between 100k to 200k.

  38. slyboy says:

    Goodson played for Dallas for several seasons, until 2007 i believe. But yes, i think people ignore the fact that the vast majority of our team started in MLS

  39. Starla says:

    And that doesn’t come down to MLS not wanting to be a part of the soccer world where transfer fees are used to move players? It’s sit out your contract or hope someone throws money at MLS.

    Should Ream sign a new 200-300k contract and be locked up in MLS until he’s 29? His options are sitting out his low salary contract, or staying in MLS for most of his career unless someone team overpays for him.

  40. slyboy says:

    When has MLS recently turned down an offer that WASN’T a lowball ?

  41. Starla says:

    Obviously prices are too high if several of the best players and talents aren’t sold every season. (Or lacking players good enough for better leagues)

    When transfer fees aren’t a natural part of the system teams have less use of it than teams would in most of the soccer world, so they want more money for their asset. So what MLS thinks is lowball might not be a lowball offer if you look at the world market where talents of similar level and league are sold. It might be hard to get Altidore money again after Altidore.

  42. GW says:

    ag,

    You have a point. Every year you take a (theoretical figures here )$60K salary over a $180 K salary is a year you leave $120K on the table. That adds up and you never get it back. Also, being a pro athlete you are only one bad play away from retirement.

    We don’t know Schuler but it seems to me if he is thinking Europe he needs to find a club that is:

    Stable

    Has a manager who wants him

    Has a role for him on their team or

    a really good developmental program if he is isn’t in their first team.

    Will help him with the cultural transition( both on and off the field)

    I don’t know if you’ve ever moved to a foreign country for a work but I have and it can be really hard and not everyone is cut out for that. It’s tough enough just trying to make the team w/o having to worry about how to find your way home or eat out or do any of the million other things we alltake for granted.

  43. GW says:

    Another in the long line of Jersey guys who play soccer.

    From UNC website:

    Prep – Edison Academy

    Graduate of the Edison Academy in Bradenton, Fla., as a member of the U.S. Under-17 National Team Residency Program – Played with the U.S. U-17 Team at the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Korea – 2007 NSCAA/adidas Youth All-America selection – Played prep soccer at The Peddie School in Hightstown, N.J. – Named to the 2007 PARADE High School All-America squad – Two-time all-state and three-time all-area selection – Two-time area player of the year and team MVP – Member of state, regional and national ODP teams – Seven-time state cup winner with Matchfit Academy FC.

    Personal

    William Jason Schuler is the son of Bill and Mary Anne Schuler – Born April 27, 1990, in Hamilton, N.J. – Has two sisters, both of which played college soccer – A sister played soccer at VCU and another sister played one year at Northeastern – Majoring in economics at Carolina and plans a career in business or professional soccer.

  44. GW says:

    “made it “big” in Europe”

    You underestimate how hard it is for anyone, from anywhere, never mind the US, to make it “big” in Europe. There are probably literally millions of kids world wide who want to make it “big” in Europe.

    “crawl back to MLS”

    Americans (I’m assuming you aren’t Welsh or should I say Red Dragon eligible)have such an inferiority complex about MLS so you insult it every chance you get.

    The fact is MLS is pretty stable ( at least the players get paid, see Argentina). MLS regulars are in the very small percentage of people from around the world who can make a living playing soccer.

    You might spit on them but MLS players are actually very good and the level is only getting better.

  45. GW says:

    How many clubs in the EPL are profitable?

  46. Yevgeniy says:

    Those of you that claim that he should go to Denmark or Sweden where they will pay him $200k, you need to realize that the top players in Gen Adidas class get roughly the same amount – Tchani, Mwanga etc. My rule of thumb is always this – if you are good enough for EPL, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A or top few clubs in France, Holland, Portugal – go there, but if not, play in the US.

  47. Stu says:

    He is guaranteed more of an opportunity for minutes…Foreign clubs always have preference for their domestic players

  48. mick says:

    American players get the shaft abroad, eurochump

  49. Mo says:

    There are only a few top clubs in the first leagues you mentioned and 2-4 in each league.

  50. KL says:

    As Europe’s economy continues to collapse, I am going to laugh.

  51. KL says:

    Being a Eurosnob is sooooo 2009.

  52. Yeah! Pay up Canada. You charge us all these environmental fees on products that has not been spent according to agreements. Gimme me back my money…or give it to poor countries!

  53. Come on, before you start calling things a disgrace, learn a little bit and take into account that Tim Ream has been offered new contracts (with very sizable raises), it has been his choice to not take the pay raise and wait out his contract, same thing with Holden, he waited out his contract

  54. Agudelo? Stephens? Hertzog? Im just saying that he is guarenteed first team minutes in MLS as much as he is guarenteed in Europe

  55. Kudos to both teams — to UNC for winning and to Charlotte for playing with so much commitment, energy and heart. Finals of any competition are often very measured and dull. This was the opposite

  56. escort bayan says:

    Kudos to both teams — to UNC for winning and to Charlotte for playing with so much commitment, energy and heart. Finals of any competition are often very measured and dull. This was the opposite

  57. medyum izmir says:

    Those of you that claim that he should go to Denmark or Sweden where they will pay him $200k, you need to realize that the top players in Gen Adidas class get roughly the same amount – Tchani, Mwanga etc. medyum

  58. Bobby Or says:

    Schuler just went to Swedish club Hammarby IF. I’m a born fan of Hammarby IF and I can assure you he will be taken care of.

    American manager and the biggest fan club in Sweden.

    Laters..

  59. B DeDominicis says:

    You have no idea buddy what you are speaking of, you are so far off base. Many of the original statements in the top of the string got it right so you may want to go back and read them.

    It is the love of playing in the real big league that is driving Billy.

  60. B DeDominicis says:

    You got it right brother as he is likely to sign today and leave early next week!

  61. eskort bayan says:

    im thinks is lowball might not be a lowball offer if you look at the world market where talents of similar level and league are sold. It might be hard to get Altidore money again after Altidore…

  62. Haluk says:

    I’ve watched that game twice, still have it recorded on the DVR. His goal was an easy tap in off a lucky deflection. Chandler Hoffman was the more impressive forward in that game, he assisted on both of UCLA’s goals despite having the best CB in college Matt Hedges marking him tightly.

    Not that big of a difference in quality between him, Hoffman, and Townsend right now. What will make the difference for those three over the next few years is first team minutes and development.

    “He had enough clubs already sweating him.”

    So did Agbossoumonde. Fat lot of good all that “interest” and all those empty promises did him.