U.S. U-20 forward Rodriguez moves to Borussia Mönchengladbach

MarioRodriguesUSUnder-20FIFAWorldCup1-France (AP)

By DAN KARELL

For the second successive season, United States Under-20 forward Mario Rodriguez will be playing for a new club. Only this time, he’ll be staying in Germany.

On Wednesday, Borussia Mönchengladbach announced that Rodriguez had completed a deal to move to the Bundesliga club, signing a contract through 2015. The club announced that the North Hollywood, California native would be playing with the Borussia U23s next season.

Rodriguez returned to Germany this week after the U.S. U-20s were knocked out of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Turkey last Thursday, losing twice and drawing one in three group stage matches. Last year, Rodriguez made the move from the Los Angeles Galaxy academy to 1. FC Kaiserslautern, where he played with the club’s U19 squad.

“Here (at Borussia), I can go the next step in my career,” Rodriguez said on the team’s website.

The 19-year-old scored one goal and added two assists, starting all five matches for Tab Ramos U.S. U-20 side as they were runners-up in the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship last February/March. Rodriguez also helped his club Kaiserslautern to the German U-19 Cup final, losing to 1. FC Köln, 1-0, at Berlin’s Olympiastadion.

What do you think of this news? Do you see him eventually making the Borussia first time? Do you believe this is the right move for Rodriguez?

Share your thoughts below.

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30 Responses to U.S. U-20 forward Rodriguez moves to Borussia Mönchengladbach

  1. bottlcaps says:

    Another great prospect from the LA Galaxy Academy!! All-in-all I am really impressed with some of the Academies of the MLS teams. Dallas is another that has identified some great talent, so had RSL. I think the college super-draft will always have a place in bringing new talent into the MLS, but the academies, with homegrown players, I think, will most likely identify and train the next US star.

    • Ben says:

      I agree. I only dislike when people turn it into academies versus college. Having as many avenues as possible for soccer in the US is a good thing.

      • Broadsthooligans says:

        To be fair, academies are acknowledged as the more efficient way to get youth players involved. They are involved deeper in the system and from a younger age. You’re right though, certain players mature later, fit different systems, or for whatever reason excel after having gone through college. I’d rather see teams put emphasis on their academies, which can create a solid core, along with having a few surprise gems come through college systems which seems to be what their doing. It’s a good step forward for soccer in the states, and not because college isn’t worth anything, it just shouldn’t be the primary source.

        • Dont Care says:

          But its not College vs academies its College vs turning pro early and its not as clear cut as you like to believe. You say elite players dont play in college but the first domestic player to play in a Champions league final (Subotic) played college at USF. For every Jozy, Bradley, Howard, Donovan theres a Dempsey, Holden, Cherundolo, Boca, Guzan, Keller, Davies (pre accident), Cobi Jones, Reyna, Friedel. Look at the recent youth results. All of the teams were made up of mostly pros and they have all looked and performed awful.

          College is attracting more and more talent and even top players are realizing games in college are better than not making the bench in MLS. Look at Yedlin, Zardes, and Farrell. They’re starting games and becoming or are big parts of their teams while Luna, Pineda, Gulley, Shanosky, and a bunch of others are no where to be found. Look at the Unions home growns Hernandez and McCloughlin. They are getting no playing time while Francious (sp?) is battling for hard earned minutes for a stacked Maryand team and has actually improved more. You might be suprised of the gems coming out of college but that reflects more on your lack of player knowledge than the lack of talent in college

    • Gary Page says:

      Tijuana’s Xolos recently poached another Galaxy Academy product, so it would seem the Galaxy are finding good prospects. Now they need to hold on to them. But they have a good base of youngsters with Zardes, McBean, and Villareal.

    • K says:

      please tell me why the superdraft is a good thing. It’s horribly inefficient, it adds an extra barrier to entry for potential players and its detrimental to the development of players. Just look at the case of Omar Salgado. There you had a 17 yr old kid who grew up in Texas, who would have been much comfortable starting his career with one of the Texas clubs, but who was forced to start his career thousands of miles away in another country. It’s not surprising that he has had a difficult time adjusting.

      No one else in the world does this. And there’s a reason no one else does it.

      • fortunate only says:

        Did I miss the part where Chivas put a gun to Salgado’s head and forced him to move to Guadalajara? Maybe the kid jumped at the chance to be a part of one of the best youth academies in Mexico?

        It obviously didn’t work out like he wanted but I’m not sure what other options the kid had at the time.

        • K says:

          that was his choice. He was obviously comfortable with it.

          that’s a different issue. What I’m taking about is how detrimental the Superdraft is to developing players. We shouldn’t be telling young players where to begin their careers. No other country on the planet does this.

          • Don't care says:

            He trained with Vancouver before the draft and wanted to sign with them. You have no f*cking idea what u are talking about

            • K says:

              he trained with them because they had the #1 pick.

              And I do know what I’m talking about. The Superdraft harms our youth development. FACT.

              • Don't care says:

                He was training with Vancouver while they were still in the 2nd division and both Omar and Vancouver wanted to sign before the draft and were mad MLS wouldn’t let them. You have no idea what you’re talking about FACT.

          • fischy says:

            The Superdraft doesn’t harm development. Do you think teams take players they don’t want? When you take a player over all the other available players, that represents a commitment to the player. Now, I can see why players might resent not being able to pick the place they’d like to land, but it is probably more likely to place a player with the team that values him the most.

        • BB says:

          I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic, but I think he was talking about Salgado getting drafted to Vancouver, not signing with Chivas…

    • jlm says:

      The best thing about the MLS academy system is that the guys that they have “developed” so far, have not really done most of their development with the academy. Now that these academy programs are getting 10-12 year olds, it will be interesting to see what they are producing in the next 5-10 years.

    • Don't care says:

      You can’t really say LA developed Villareal, Zardes, Mendiola, McBean or Arriola when they have played one season max for LA. Its nothing more than cherry picking the best players in their region. Some of the best prospects going forward like Pelosi have never played a game for a MLS academy. Yes Dallas may have found some talent but what have they done with them? 90% of them will be cut before they even see first team minutes. If anything were seeing more and more top players enter College instead of signing contracts. Look at Yedlin, Zardes, Allen, Serna, Trapp, Robinson, Martin, Allen, Palodichuk, Steffen and many more that went to college or are going. DC has wanted Robinson for 3 years now. I believe two years under Caleb Porter did more for Yedlin than sitting the bench for Seattle

  2. TomG says:

    I haven’t been blown away by Mario in the ten or so times I’ve seen him. Gladbach seems like a good place to develop though.

    • Rabbit says:

      I somewhat agree; I worry he doesn’t have the pace to be a really strong pro. By really strong pro I mean someone that could regularly start for a team in one of the top leagues.

      • Rabbit says:

        But I’m hoping the best for him and hoping I’m wrong

      • louis z says:

        Well if Dempsey can do it, I think Mario has a chance.

      • Francois says:

        I think one of his advantages is pace, he’s definitely not slow. I would say his finishing is the issue.

      • Helium-3 says:

        He seems like a lazy player from the few games I’ve seen of him. He only tries if the ball comes to him and rarely runs after a ball if it isn’t anywhere
        Nearby. If he plays for these passes he could be making something from nothing. Overall, i hope im wrong but this guy thinks he’s already too good and it is only at the junior level. If he has this attitude at senior level club ball then he’s going to be a bust.

    • fischy says:

      I’ve never been blown away by him, but I assume the folks in Monchengladback see something they can work with…so, that’s good.

  3. Gary Page says:

    Good move, hope he can get some playing time with the senior team.

  4. Joe A. says:

    Didn’t necessarily impress me with the U-20’s but here’s to hoping he develops in germany.

  5. biff says:

    Daily Mail reporting Maurice Edu will be making a permanent move to Buraspor.

    link to dailymail.co.uk

  6. TREN says:

    I think I have asked this before but never got a good answer…

    If Mario Rodriguez comes back to the MLS can the Galaxy get to sign him as a homegrown player?

    • bottlcaps says:

      AS MR never signed a contract with the MLS, no one has his rights. I think Homegrown players have rules to when they can be signed. Remember a homegrown player and MLS Academies are different things, an MLS team can sign a homegrown player from other academies, as long as there is a link between the player and the club. Academy players are not bound to sign for the MLS team whose academy they participated in although the MLS team get first shot. All all the recent signing of players to foreign teams from the Galaxy academy show, they are attracting and producing excellent talent., are getting a good reputation and have teams from other countries looking closely.

      • fischy says:

        I don’t know what you wrote there.

        However, the Homegrown designation applies to a player’s first professional contract. That has passed.

        LA has no claim on him.

  7. MikeG says:

    Good luck Rodriquez. Continue MLS academy teams…This is the start of a bright future for sure, not only for MLS, but for the USMNT too.

    • fischy says:

      The start? Huh? What — you think he’s the first Academy player to get a foreign deal?