Thursday, September 18, 2008

Charles Renken to Arsenel?

Remember when I told you the keep the name Charles Renken in mind? Well there is a rumor that Renken might move on to Arsenel. Kartik Krishnaier thinks it a bad idea and I actually agree.

Renken's life story is not your normal American teenager story, but I think at minimum a wait for a couple of years will do him well, if for no other reason than to mature.

Yes, Renken's development as a player will stagnate if he remains here in the U.S. too long. Yes, Arsenel's legendary Arsene Wenger is brilliant at developing young talent and teh style of football that Arsenel likes can certainly help, but there are lots of coaches and clubs in Europe who can do the same thing.
Frank Simek signed with Arsenal at 14, the same age and he now remains an outsider in the US player pool struggling for recognition on a second division side in his twenties. This pattern has played out with many of the other Americans I listed above who went to England as teens to develop their footballing skills. On the other hand the list of youngsters who went to continental clubs or academies is more impressive and dare I say has been much more impactful on the fortunes of the US National Team program.

Charles Renken is a special player. He has the potential to be a similar, even complimentary player to Freddy Adu a few years down the road in the US setup. Along with Stefan Jerome and Carlos Martinez he represents part of an attacking trio that could lead to US to glory in upcoming youth world cups. However, all of this is predicated on Renkin making the right move following his time at the US Soccer’s Academy in Bradenton and continuing his impressive growth as a young player.
Simek is a quality player who was probably not as gifted as Renken, but you can never tell at this stage.