In recent World Cups, USA players have been able to secure overseas contracts right after their World Cup games are over.
That doesn’t seem to be the case this year. Clubs in Europe have planned ahead of time for World Cup absences, and therefore don’t seem to be as desperate this time around.
Perhaps as players come back and come back injured, that might change.
“The pro teams seem pretty solidified,” said USA scrumhalf Mike Petri. “In the end it’s like you’re waiting on an injury.”
Added another player, “people get the impression that the money is really good, but that’s not always true. When you’ve got a family and a mortgage, you can’t just take any offer.”
Added Paul Emerick, “you get these offers, and maybe if I was 24 I’d take it, but there comes a time when you need the length of the contract, and everything else, to be right.”
That may require some patience for some, and compromise for others. Currently the USA has 12 players in the top two tiers of competition in France and England (plus one other, Todd Clever, in Japan). Last year three USA players were in Italy, and currently there are none.