Report: Schuler bound for Hammarby

NCAA2011CP095

Photo by Chris Putman/ISIphotos.com

Another young American attacking talent appears to be taking his game overseas.

According to a report out of Sweden, University of North Carolina forward Billy Schuler will sign with second-division club Hammarby — the team coached by former U.S. international Gregg Berhalter — pending a physical. Schuler joins Virginia's Brian Span as NCAA players who have bolted for professional deals overseas. Span signed with another Swedish club, top-flight outfit Djurgardens.

Schuler, who was included on the initial combine roster released by MLS, was offered a Generation adidas deal by MLS but turned that down to pursue European options instead. Had he signed with the league, he would have been one of the first names to come off the board in next week's SuperDraft. He helped lead UNC to the NCAA championship, scoring 16 goals as a redshirt junior this past season for the Tar Heels.

In addition to playing for Berhalter, Schuler will team with former University of Illinois-Chicago and Chicago Fire midfielder Baggio Husidic, who signed with Hammarby a couple of weeks ago.

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41 Responses to Report: Schuler bound for Hammarby

  1. Steve C says:

    Out of curiousity, at what age does one naturally drop the “y” or “ie” from your first name. Referring to people who go by: Billy, Tommy, Timmy, Johnny, etc etc. I can’t picture a 60 year old man who goes by “Tommy.”

  2. dan says:

    Some have wrote that this is a loss for MLS…. if a player wants to go to Europe and has his mind set on it, not sure that is considered a loss. Simply someone following their dreams…. even if it means playing in Denmark.

    However, if it was an issue of $$ that made the final difference, yeah, it could be considered a loss. If MLS offered a few more $$, would he have stayed??

    Ultimately, Shuler will have to fight for playing time like everyone else no mater where he plays.

  3. SM says:

    Not really what MLS would like to see, one of it’s best picks going to 2nd division Sweden. Still a great signing by Berhalter, hopefully this helps him get Hammarby get promoted which would be help get rid of Anti-American coaching bias

  4. Murph says:

    Small matter… Hammarby is actually not top flight right now. They are currently in Superettan, or 2nd division.

    Stayed tuned, they may not be done signing US players. I met the – very young – GM while in Stockholm over the holidays and they are cleaning house and trying to agressively sign new players.

  5. Sean says:

    As a Reading United supporter who got to watch Span and Schuler play PDL soccer, I’m thrilled for Billy and Cobi but also disappointed that I won’t get to see them play in Major League Soccer. Both are tremendous talents and would have been assets to any of the 19 teams in our league.

  6. Rlw2020 says:

    Not sure how MLS got the idea that they are entitled to all US born players.. Especially when (i assume) no mls club has ever contributed to his youth career to date. If he was an academy player jumping ship then they would have apoint but college players should be free to sign wherever suits them the best.

    That aside i think mls has done a very good job making good deals to bring top talent to the league

    Good for shuler hope he brings Hammerby back to the top.

  7. Mark says:

    Tommy Smythe, Tommy Lee Jones, Billy Dee Williams, Tommy Lasorda. Yeah, that never happens to 60 year old men.

  8. Lee says:

    Don’t know if it had any impact in the decision at all, but Berhalter did go to UNC as well, so there is the UNC connection with Schuler

  9. Charles says:

    Maybe US fans that watched him play in college want to see him play ?

    Isn’t that a loss for MLS ? Their fans want something, they can’t provide it.

    Bummer, but overall MLS is doing a very good job of bringing in the college talent.

  10. Par for the Course says:

    It was nice knowing you, Schuler.

  11. Wispy says:

    All these guys made it to 60 years old:

    Tommy Lasorda.

    Jimmy Hoffa.

    Johnny Bench.

    Kenny Stabler.

    Jimmy Carter (and his brother Billy was like 50).

    That’s just the famous ones I can think of off the top of my head.

  12. Kasey says:

    Ivesy

  13. wilyboy says:

    I’m surprised how upset people are. We got the best two prospects available, and most of the other ones they tried to sign. The league isn’t crying over this class quite yet.

  14. dan says:

    I think MLS has done a great job signing most of the best college talent…. in the long run, that 2 decided to go to Europe is not an issue with the growth of MLS.

    Unfortunately, good college talent will not grow the MLS. Signing established internationals that can produce immediately in the MLS is going to help grow the MLS in the eyes of the rest of the world.

  15. AEG says:

    you mean the eyes of the casual fan, according to Don Garber.

  16. Cairo says:

    I’ve always wondered if a Euro team might someday stock much of its roster with lower cost Americans and see what happens. Berhalter might be the guy to do it. Imagine a team with 6-8 American guys as their backbone, playing in Hammarby. They would be marketing gold in the US, and would have a real shot at exposing Europeans to the quality of soccer played in the US. Or they could flop miserably and send the opposite message. Still, if he signs two or three more, then they’re going to get a lot of attention in the American soccer community. Fun…

  17. MensreaJim says:

    In the South/Texas (and apparently New England? I’ve never spent much time there) it is very common.

    I have a son named William, and I told my wife there’s no way he would make it through life in Texas as anything but Billy. We moved.

    /usedtobeJimmy

  18. David St. Hubbins says:

    Is it really a good move for Berhalter though? A bigger club like Hammarby should be looking to sign guys who can help them bounce back to the 1st division right away. Schuler is a college player and yes he had a great season but he is still a prospect who needs work before he’s ready to seriously contribute. I have a hard time seeing him earn much playing time this year or contributing to a promotion campaign.

  19. Steve McSteve says:

    If Berhalter wants to sign a bunch of Americans, it should be for soccer, not marketing reasons. No matter how many Americans Hammarby signs, they’re never going to be noticed in the US by anything but bigsoccer types.

  20. wilyboy says:

    Thankfully, we actually do have the talent, they just need a good environment. Imagine how much better some of our youth prospects would have been with some faith from the manager?

  21. Nice says:

    Berkshire is a UNC alumn. This kid will be taken care of ala Davies.

  22. Bill says:

    it is a mix of both, not one or the other. And it is a mix of hardcore and casual fans that will fuel continued growth also.

  23. Pid says:

    Excellent move by Berhalter…snatching up young talent on the cheap.

  24. Clayton says:

    Schuler? Schuler? Schuler?

  25. Esteban de la Sexface says:

    Which guys have gone overseas (and skip MLS) and have had strong USMNT careers?
    I can only think of Bradley, Spector, Cherundolo and Onyewu. Even if I’m missing a few guys, doesn’t this make it kind of apparent that MLS is the way to go if you want to build your career?
    Am I wrong here?

  26. MensreaJim says:

    Bradley didn’t skip MLS, but I would count Davies as someone who qualifies, and perhaps JF Torres. Holden also went from college to the UK but he made his mark in Houston after returning. There are probably some others.

    Regardless, that’s a pretty thin pool of US-raised players who skipped MLS and made an impact on the NT. Good point.

    I don’t think Europe was as available to young Americans 10-15 years ago, though, so that might change.

  27. Münster says:

    Move to Sweden, marry beautiful Swedish girl, get EU Pass, set for life. I say he aint doin bad.

  28. David St. Hubbins says:

    If you were a fan of one of the teams who might have drafted this kid like NE, TFC, CHV, or SJ, you would be a little p.o.’ed at this.

  29. David St. Hubbins says:

    It’s sad that in this day and age with MLS getting all this new revenue in the tens of millions from the new TV contract, and in the hundreds of millions from selling a stake in SUM to a private equity firm… that they are losing out on signing guys like Schuler and Span when they could have retained them if they upped their bid by 50k or so.

  30. dan says:

    the thing in Europe is that for every american player with talent you have maybe 10-20 Europeans with the same talent! US players have to be better than… not just as good, to really succeed in Europe. That only qualifies a few US players… not all the ones that go over are better than their European counterparts.

  31. dan says:

    how do you know these two would have stayed here in the US for a little more $$? these two may truly want to go to Europe and play regardless of the $$ mls is offering (btw… if mls is offering $$ so will euro teams and mls will never compete with that kind of $$)

  32. Mikebsiu says:

    Have fun rotting in the Swedish second division. I hope Hammarby tanks it.

  33. Starla says:

    If I were a young player signing with MLS I would prefer a two-year 40k contract so I could leave for a big league at 22-23 if I turned out to be a great player, over a 160k five-year GA deal and have to wait until I’m 25-26 to leave.

  34. Jamie Z. says:

    It’s common here and even more common in Britain to use the -y suffix as a nickname rather than a diminutive.

  35. David St. Hubbins says:

    b/c Ives has been reporting GA has been lowballing their offers to a lot of these guys. It’s pathetic that we are penny-pinching tens of thousands of dollars for top flight talent when there are tens of millions of new dollars flowing in.

  36. David St. Hubbins says:

    He is in big trouble if Berhalter struggles and gets let go… no way does Berhalter’s Swedish replacement give Schuler any playing time. He will be left to rot on the bench like many Americans before him.

  37. Esteban de la Sexface says:

    Good point on Davies and Bradley though I’d say that Torres didn’t really skip the MLS, he just developed in a different system due to his heritage.

    Perhaps this is a Bob Bradley thing and he was too focused on MLS (or not well informed enough on non-US based players). Still, from my perspective, it looks like a strange career move to a non-first rate team in a second-rate (at best) league.

  38. Andy says:

    I think Schuler can be a good acquisition. Sweden is a good country. Those Scouts of many big clubs in europe. Hammarby are a big club which has Sweden’s largest crowd of supporters and the disadvantage is that the press is relatively high on the players.

    I found this, pretty cool!

    link to youtube.com

  39. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    Congrats on being a terrible human being.

  40. Fredrik says:

    Welcome to Hammarby! We have the best fans of Sweden! Just type in hammarby on youtube and you will see ;)

    link to youtube.com