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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Troy Perkins of DC United Transfered to Valerenga of Norway by Dan Leo

Video courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Dan Leo for World Football Commentaries.

Troy has first signed a development deal with MLS, which paid approximately $11,000. To help make ends meet, he worked part-time at a sporting goods store. Later on, upon winning a starting job with DC United, Troy worked as a bank loan officer (our Subprime Troy) to augment his MLS wage of about $30K.

Finally, DCU upped his contract to $87,500.

One doesn't get rich playing in MLS. Unless your name ends in "ham."

Best in MLS but not the Top US Keeper

Troy, at 26, didn't live a charmed life as a top MLS draft pick. Nor did he earn his reputation by playing on the various US youth squads like Brad Guzan, Steve Cronin, Chris Seitz and Tim Howard. But he has proven himself in 2006, actually winning the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award. While some international scouts have him rated lower than Guzan, who has been tied to several high profile teams recently, Troy has diligently worked his way up the soccer ladder. However, by no means, is he the finished product.

One of Troy's technical weaknesses is his consistency in snagging crosses and setting himself in proper positions. In a Superliga semi-final against the LA Galaxy, Troy had completely misjudged David Beckham's free kick by taking a step away from the ball's flight path. The resulting goal was all the LAG needed to prevail (they did add another goal later). No doubt, Beckham's bender isn't something he got to see in MLS before, so part of that error was understandable. Still, Valerenga's job entails preventing goals such as that and Perkins will have to keep making progress at his craft

A soccer legend, Gordon Banks, once remarked that he hadn't learned how to play the goalkeeper position until his late 20's. Troy Perkins is 26, so he's got 3 years to make up on the former English great. And even if he never gets quite that far, the American goalkeeper's athleticism and determination should keep in the pro ranks for a long time to come.

About the Author

Dan Leo is a freelance writer based from Miami, Florida.

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