Soccer fans of a certain age know a bit about Ajax, the Dutch club that set that became the developmental standard bearer back in the day. Ajax was Barcelona before Barcelona was Barcelona.
And fans might know a little about PSV Eindhoven, the club where DaMarcus Beasley made his European bones.
Recent years have taught us a bit about Alkmaar, mostly because of Jozy Altidore’s high-scoring ways at the smaller Dutch outfit. Now, fellow U.S. international Aron Johannsson is doing the goal-scoring business at Alkmaar, which has kept the club on our radar. (Also because former U.S. international Earnie Stewart is in charge of building that club in his role as technical director.)
But beyond that, most of us look past the Dutch Eredivisie, turning our gaze to the “sexier” leagues abroad, the hifalutin associations in England, Spain, Germany and Italy.
So maybe it’s time to get to know a wee bit more, to amp up our Eredivisie shelf of knowledge.
Greg Seltzer is an Amsterdam-based writer who contributes regularly to MLSSoccer.com. And he has delivered an excellent primer on Juan Agudelo’s new club.
Among the gems you’ll find in Seltzer’s thorough get-acquainted piece: Manager Jan Wouters, a former Dutch international, has worked previously with U.S. internationals Beasley, John O’Brien and Claudio Reyna.
It’s highly unlikely that Agudelo will be there past this spring. Still, it won’t kill you to know a little more about our soccer world, eh?