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Kasey on the home front

Posted on 17 February 2004  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

As he prepares to face Holland tomorrow night, Kasey Keller reasons that players from America's Major Soccer League plying their trade in Europe will ultimately benefit the game as a whole in his homeland.

Kasey is one of three goalkeepers selected by national boss Bruce Arena for the friendly in Amsterdam.

Tim Howard is one of those keepers after joining the USA contingent in Europe and most notably the Premiership after his summer switch to Manchester United.

It was something of a USA national team reunion when we travelled to Loftus Road recently to face Fulham, who featured in their ranks two new recruits from the MLS - Carlos Bocanegra and Brian McBride.

But, with the MLS attempting to seal a place in the hearts and minds of the American public, doesn't the export trade weaken the hand of the sport domestically?

"I think it is always a difficult situation and I know the Dutch league has had that problem as well," considered Kasey, who heads off on international duty next week when the USA face Holland in Amsterdam. "You want to have a strong domestic league, but then you have to accept the fact that there really is four leagues in the world that everybody wants to play in.

"You have to let those players go and do that. It's like the Spanish basketball league is not a bad league, but the NBA is where it's at and you have to let those players go and prove themselves against the best.

"The other thing with the MLS is that they will get the players back, everybody pretty much wants to go back and finish up their careers at home. If they can develop players, keep the league afloat and make some money they will still keep the interest going."

And that interest is heightening, according to Kasey, who reports that coverage of the Premiership and European leagues in the USA is on the increase.

"There is so much more interest now, my family see so many more of our games and highlights of what is happening over here. It is a good double interest because the soccer people at home are watching Europe and also watching the MLS.

"When they see the success of both it is a double bonus."