After years of learning everything he could on the European club level, United States international Benny Feilhaber believes now is the best time to show what he is capable of in Major League Soccer.
The 26-year-old Brazilian-born midfielder joined the New England Revolution last night after both Chivas USA and the Philadelphia Union passed on him in the allocation draft.
While abroad, Feilhaber played for Hamburg SV, Derby County and most recently at AGF Aarhus.
Feilhaber explained in today’s media conference call that his decision to initially play in Europe was to aid his development as a soccer player.
“I think Europe teaches you things that are tough to learn when you’re playing close to home,” said Feilhaber. “It’s really all about football. That’s the only reason why I’m in Europe. There’s nothing else. I think you really learn a lot of things.”
The attacking midfielder, who has scored two goals in 38 appearances for the United States Men’s National Team, believes that MLS will provide stability and a new challenge for him.
“I think I’m ready to come back,” said Feilhaber. “I think the [MLS] will do something for me that Europe hasn’t been able to.”
The Revs were shocked when the team learned that both clubs ahead of them in the allocation draft declined the opportunity to sign Feilhaber. Team vice president of player personnel, Michael Burns, said in the conference call that the option of adding a player of Feilhaber’s ability was too good to pass up on.
“Speaking frankly, there’s no way that we thought he was going to be available,” said Burns.
Head Steve Nicol told reporters after today’s practice that he is excited about the level of experience and quality that Feilhaber brings to the Revs.
“Some of the problems we had last year were a lack of experience and passing the ball,” said Nicol. “He’s a guy who, without a shadow of a doubt, brings loads and loads of both. It makes sense.”
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