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The story behind Perkins' return to MLS

Troy Perkins had been in Norway for almost two years, and by all accounts his career was evolving nicely. Right away, he had become the starting goalkeeper for the Oslo-based club Valerenga, served as captain and became a favorite of the Klanen, the faithful supporters' group that creates a red-and-blue mass at Ullevaal Stadium.

Although the Norwegian league is a backwater destination, several tiers below the iconic European circuits, it did offer him a competitive environment and a promising gateway to bigger clubs and contracts on the soccer-absorbed continent.

For Perkins' career, Scandinavia was the right destination. For Perkins' growing family, it was not.

Read the full story here.

By Steve Goff  |  March 17, 2010; 6:36 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  
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Next: Wednesday kickaround


A win for the Perkins family and a win for United.

Posted by: dcarmy | March 17, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Steve -- a very nice article indeed. Good work explaining the "economics" of the Perkins transfer. Looks like both DCU and Valerenga acted with class when both were asked for a transfer by Perkins.

Posted by: griffin1108 | March 17, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

A great piece, Goffer.

So, when Perkins was in DC, what did he need a side job for? $250,000/3 = $83,000. That far higher than a developmental contract - hell, I would be stoked to have that salary.

I understand the need to set up a post-soccer career, but that's not a wage at which I'd be looking for supplemental income.

Posted by: Modibo | March 17, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Happy St. Patrick's Day to the Irish, the Irish-Americans, and Irish-for-a-day-Americans.

To Arthur!

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 17, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Nice article. I hope Mrs. Perkins finds a job in pharmacy - maybe filling out prescriptions for the injury-prone DC United roster.

@Modibo. The first two years at DCU, Troy was getting the MLS minimum and worked at Dick's and later as a mortgage loan officer to make ends meet. I never read of him complaining about it. In fact, when the mortgage industry crashed, his quotes were about his co-workers who lost their full-time jobs.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 17, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I don't want to be insensitive -- hey man, I've been there -- but after two years he should not have needed translation help in the locker room. If you want to go play in a foreign country, you have to learn the language.

Posted by: troy6 | March 17, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Modibo, when he was working that other job, I believe he was making around 30k -- maybe less. I would bet the 250k was his final wage.

Posted by: Reignking | March 17, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Echoing other appreciative comments for this look inside the "European Dream" for US players. I've often wondered about whether moving to any European club is better than working toward some sort of peak in MLS. Obviously the various intangibles highlighted in Perkins' story make the decision a very challenging one. Its also refreshing to read about a top-flight athelete who appears to have his head screwed on straight. Thanks, SG.

Posted by: BaltoFan | March 17, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

"You have a family and responsibilities," he said, "and those outweigh everything."


Often said, not as often lived.

Ya know what I'm saying, Tiger?

Posted by: OWNTF | March 17, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Nice article, Steve

Posted by: rademaar | March 17, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse


Yes! And cheers for another great story Goff!

However, Tiger's fatal flaw was getting married and then having kids. Without those, he's just Charles Barkley getting pulled over for a DUI on his way to get...and receives a stern word from the PGA Tour.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | March 17, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Ullevaal Stadium. Is that Norwegian for "the dangly thing in the back of your throat?"

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 17, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I thought Troy's first year with the team he was at $12,500. Yep. And working at Galyan's sporting goods.

Posted by: JkR- | March 17, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Britain's Poet Laureate has composed the following ode to Beckham.

Achilles, by Carol Ann Duffy

Myth's river — where his mother dipped him, fished him, a slippery golden boy flowed on, his name on its lips.

Without him, it was prophesised, they would not take Troy.

Women hid him, concealed him in girls' sarongs; days of sweetmeats, spices, silver songs...

But when Odysseus came, with an athlete's build, a sword and a shield, he followed him to the battlefield, the crowd's roar,

And it was sport, not war, his charmed foot on the ball...

But then his heel, his heel, his heel...

[It probably is better when Garrison Keiller reads it . . . ]

Posted by: OWNTF | March 17, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

"I'm a lot more likely to watch football than he is to read poetry," Duffy said.

That's a good line.

Posted by: OWNTF | March 17, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

"Hey Curt, don't blame me, I tried Sztelya."

T. Soehn

Posted by: OWNTF | March 17, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

@OWNTF: From the WP link, this is rather shocking. So much for the progressive European arts.

"[Duffy}was appointed Britain's national poet last year, the first woman to hold a post previously occupied by John Dryden, William Wordsworth, Alfred Lord Tennyson and Ted Hughes."

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 17, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Well I'm afraid Achilles is not exactly the Charge of the Light Brigade . . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | March 17, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I've been working on my own Ode, to Rep. Massa.

Whilst matters important
to the fate of the nation,
Were pushed aside
as we focussed on Massa-bation,

It's a good start but I'm blocked . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | March 17, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

all i care about is that the picture on the dc united/soccer home page for has finally changed! no more mwanga and those silly union supporters.

Posted by: mizage | March 17, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

@OWNTF -- Maybe you're blocked because of the irony that you're continuing to focus on Massa when everyone but comedians and those trying to concoct partisan advantages have moved on.

Posted by: fischy | March 17, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Being a full-time mom ain't a bad gig either, Mrs. Perkins.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | March 17, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

You're right fischy. I firmly resolve to move on . . . . to Rielle Hunter.

Posted by: OWNTF | March 17, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

All you young rebels
Come list' while I sing
For the love of one's country
Is a terrible thing
It banishes fear with the speed of a flame
And makes us all part of the Patriot Game

Posted by: delantero | March 17, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

No more discussion of Brits, today, please!!

I wish that my rifle
Had given the same
To those quislings who sold out
the Patriot Game

Posted by: delantero | March 17, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Speaker Pelosi
was reviewing her notes
to see how to make law
without having a vote

and if you were wondering
if it could be worse,
imagine if it were President Edwards
I was roasting in verse!

Cut! That's a wrap. Thanks fischy.

Posted by: OWNTF | March 17, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

"Union Coach Peter Nowak, the former D.C. boss, played hardball, threatening to claim Perkins for his young club. Just as the allocation deadline approached, United agreed to hand over Brazilian midfielder Fred, the seventh overall draft pick and financial considerations for Perkins's rights."

Actually, DC gave up more. They threw in their own allocation too, which was also high value.

As DC has shown over the last few years, when they want a player (Dychenko's return, Gomez's return, etc.), they'll offer far more than market trade value to get him.

Posted by: neil_g | March 17, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

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