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Findley joining USA, leaving RSL
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Just hours after Real Salt Lake's Robbie Findley learned he was among the players named to the preliminary U.S. roster for the World Cup in South Africa, his agent said Tuesday that the forward plans to leave RSL at the end of the season.

Agent Patrick McCabe said Findley has broken off negotiations with RSL and Major League Soccer, having decided to pursue a career in Europe next year.

The sides had been negotiating on a new contract for several months -- Findley's current deal expires after this season -- and McCabe commended RSL and general manager Garth Lagerwey on making a "very competitive" offer to re-sign his client. But Findley has long dreamed of playing overseas, and has decided to make the jump the same way former RSL teammate Yura Movsisyan did after last season.

"It has gone very well for Yura, and I expect good things from Robbie as well," said McCabe, who represents both players.

The news emerged not long after Findley returned to the locker room at Rio Tinto Stadium after practice in Lehi, and learned he had made the preliminary roster.

"The last couple of days I've been thinking about it," Findley said, with a sheepish smile. "I just figured whatever is supposed to happen, will happen. I had no control over it. But it's definitely a good feeling to be a part of that group and to have an opportunity to win a spot on the roster."

Findley was one of six forwards that national team coach Bob Bradley named to the preliminary roster, and he figures to have to beat out at least two of them to earn a spot on the final 23-man roster that must be submitted to FIFA by June 1.

The World Cup begins on June 11.

Findley will be available for RSL in its home game against the Houston Dynamo at Rio Tinto Stadium on Thursday night, but then will leave for a training camp that begins Saturday in Princeton, N.J.

With little international experience, Findley hopes to impress the coaches enough to earn playing time in two international friendlies before the final roster is named - against the Czech Republic on May 25 in East Hartford, Conn., and against Turkey on May 29 in Philadelphia.

Not many analysts give him much of a chance to make the final cut.

"He's going to have to step up and do something special at that level" to make the final team, RSL coach Jason Kreis said. "With the limited experience that he has had there, I'd say he hasn't really shined. So he's going to have to go in there with some confidence, and hopefully have a great game for us Thursday night to send him on his way with some confidence, because I think he's going to need to prove that he belongs."

Lagerwey was vacationing and unavailable for comment.

Findley enjoyed a career season for RSL last year, scoring a team-leading 12 goals and earning a couple of call-ups to the national team.

But he has yet to score for the club this season, depriving him of the argument that he's in top form -- like Edson Buddle of the Los Angeles Galaxy, who played himself onto the roster by scoring nine goals with two assists in eight games.

The other forwards invited to camp include shoo-in Jozy Altidore and a trio of players with uncertain prospects.

Houston's Brian Ching has been recovering from a hamstring injury suffered against RSL last month and could play for the first time since then when the teams meet at Rio Tinto Stadium on Thursday, and Eddie Johnson is widely viewed as having playing himself back into contention with a late-season surge for Aris Thessaloniki in Greece.

Similarly, Herculez Gomez has had a wondrous season for Puebla in Mexico.

Star forward Charlie Davies was left off the team, however, having not recovered sufficiently from the injuries he suffered in a horrific car crash last fall.

Findley didn't want to guess at his chances of making the final cut, but knows how he will approach the opportunity.

"Just go in there and I guess do the things that have gotten me this far, plus a little bit more," he said. "Just go in there and listen to what they have to say, learn some things and hopefully get a chance to play in those games at the end of the month."

Findley joining USA, leaving RSL

Road to the Cup

Coach Bob Bradley named his preliminary 30-man U.S. roster for the upcoming World Cup:

Goalkeeper » Brad Guzan, Aston Villa (England); Tim Howard, Everton (England); Marcus Hahnemann, Wolverhampton (England).

Defense » Carlos Bocanegra, Rennes (France); Jonathan Bornstein, Chivas USA (USA); Steve Cherundolo, Hannover (Germany); Jay DeMerit, Watford (England); Clarence Goodson, IK Start (Norway); Chad Marshall, Columbus (USA); Oguchi Onyewu, AC Milan (Italy); Heath Pearce, FC Dallas (USA); Jonathan Spector, West Ham (England).

Midfield » DaMarcus Beasley, Rangers (Scotland); Alejandro Bedoya, Orebro (Sweden); Michael Bradley, Borussia Monchengladbach (Germany); Ricardo Clark, Eintracht Frankfurt (Germany); Clint Dempsey, Fulham (England); Landon Donovan, L.A. Galaxy (USA); Maurice Edu, Rangers (Scotland); Benny Feilhaber, Aarhus (Denmark); Stuart Holden, Bolton (England); Sacha Kljestan, Chivas USA (USA); Robbie Rogers, Columbus (USA); Jose Torres, Pachuca (Mexico).

Forward » Jozy Altidore, Villarreal (Spain); Edson Buddle, L.A. Galaxy (USA); Brian Ching, Houston (USA); Robbie Findley, Real Salt Lake (USA); Herculez Gomez, Puebla (Mexico); Eddie Johnson, Aris Thessaloniki (Greece).

Road to the Cup

Coach Bob Bradley named his preliminary 30-man U.S. roster for the upcoming World Cup:

GK » Brad Guzan, Aston Villa (England); Tim Howard, Everton (England); Marcus Hahnemann, Wolverhampton (England).

D » Carlos Bocanegra, Rennes (France); Jonathan Bornstein, Chivas USA (USA); Steve Cherundolo, Hannover (Germany); Jay DeMerit, Watford (England); Clarence Goodson, IK Start (Norway); Chad Marshall, Columbus (USA); Oguchi Onyewu, AC Milan (Italy); Heath Pearce, FC Dallas (USA); Jonathan Spector, West Ham (England).

M » DaMarcus Beasley, Rangers (Scotland); Alejandro Bedoya, Orebro (Sweden); Michael Bradley, Borussia Monchengladbach (Germany); Ricardo Clark, Eintracht Frankfurt (Germany); Clint Dempsey, Fulham (England); Landon Donovan, L.A. Galaxy (USA); Maurice Edu, Rangers (Scotland); Benny Feilhaber, Aarhus (Denmark); Stuart Holden, Bolton (England); Sacha Kljestan, Chivas USA (USA); Robbie Rogers, Columbus (USA); Jose Torres, Pachuca (Mexico).

F » Jozy Altidore, Villarreal (Spain); Edson Buddle, L.A. Galaxy (USA); Brian Ching, Houston (USA); Robbie Findley, Real Salt Lake (USA) ; Herculez Gomez, Puebla (Mexico); Eddie Johnson, Aris Thessaloniki (Greece).

Can Findley make the W.C. roster?

RSL » Now that Robbie Findley has made the preliminary U.S. roster for the World Cup next month in South Africa, the big question looms: Can he really make the team? Most analysts don't seem to think so.

Read the blog » Online at blogs.sltrib.com/rsl

Forward plans to leave team at the end of the season for Europe.
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