I'm a bit late on this, but it's worth the read.
Pro Soccer Weekly had a nice interview with Olathe's Michael Thomas -- a midfielder who played at Saint Thomas Aquinas, came up with the Kansas City Brass and went to school at Notre Dame with current Wizard defender Matt Besler -- about how he got into soccer and his decision to forgo the MLS for Swedish Allsvenskan club Halmstads BK.
It provides a good insight into a decision that most skilled American soccer players have to make: MLS or Europe? For Thomas, European soccer was always his dream, so he decided to chase it. Luckily, he caught on. (He's joined at Halmstads BK by fellow American Ryan Miller. Which has to be nice.)
I was in preseason with San Jose [Editor's note: He was a second-round pick this year] when I was contacted by my agent telling me that a team in Sweden was interested in me and would like to have me over for a trial. After many days of thinking about my future, I decided to go to Halmstads BK and give it everything that I had. It has been my dream since I was very young to play in Europe and this was the opportunity of a life time for me. I played well during the trial and impressed the right people. Eventually, my dream came true, and I received a contract offer from the club and signed for the team.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Kansas City Star
It might be a while before Thomas cracks the starting lineup, though. He was not on the bench during Halmstads' nil-nil draw with Trelleborgs FF to open the Swedish season. (By the way, I look forward to following Thomas' career not only because he's a local boy done good, but it's really awesome to look up Swedish soccer team names.)