Thierry Henry sends a message to the USMNT players in Europe
The French legend sent a message to the USMNT players in Europe, telling them that they had to earn respect and will not have it handed to them.
Charlie Davis and Clint Dempsey, two big names of soccer in their country, said that USMNT players in Europe are looked down upon and under-appreciated by the media, managers, players and fans of various leagues around the continent.
“Regardless of anywhere you go, you have to earn your respect, it’s earned and not given. But saying that, there are times that I felt I couldn’t be just as good as the other English, British, Irish and Scottish players, I had to be better than them on the field”, said Clint Dempsey to CBS Sports.
However, when Thierry Henry picked up the microphone, he disagreed about the inferred prejudice from the words of Davies and Dempsey, saying that North American players such as Gio Reyna, Weston McKennie, Ricardo Pepi and Christian Pulisic, have to win their place on the pitch.
‘Nobody is going to give you anything, it’s about earning respect’
“I can give you a lot of players who had to battle where they were from or what they had to go through to reach whatever league”, Henry said, “nobody is going to give you anything, it’s about earning respect. You have to show you can win; once you show them you can win, they’re going to love you. You’re nationality doesn’t matter.”
“I love basketball”, he continued, “do you think the European players don’t have it hard coming to NBA? Who dominates in NBA? Antetokounmpo, Jokic, Doncic... do you stop? Or do you try your respect? Whether you’re from America or Liberia. Look at Geroge Weah, he had to earn his place in the AC Milan side when they could only have three foreigners in their team... I think if you have to battle and you say to yourself ‘I cannot do something because’, then stay at home.”
Which American players didn’t manage to earn their place in England?
While some players are consolidated in their respective teams, as is the case with Antonee Robinson and Tim Ream at Fulham, or Aston Trusty at Sheffield United, there are other players who sadly, for various reasons, did not make it in England’s top division.
The most talked about case is that of Christian Pulisic, who due to the lack of minutes with Chelsea (812 minutes last season) left the London club for AC Milan in the summer of 2023.
In the current season, Matt Turner started as Nottingham Forest’s first-choice goalkeeper. However, he ended up losing his place after making repeated mistakes that cost his team points. Another example is Chris Richards, who has not been able to establish himself at Crystal Palace, while injuries have not allowed Tyler Adams to shine.
Adams played for Leeds United last season along with Brenden Aaronson and Weston McKennie, two more players who found the league a level above and as a result left for other divisions in the continent. The 2022-23 season at Leeds had a USMNT feel to it as Jesse Marsch led the side until February when he was sacked after poor results.