Between the illness of Darren Fletcher and the inconsistencies of Scott Brown and Charlie Adam, there is always room for improvement in the Scottish national team. There are many players who deserve to be given a chance, but one especially who may be easily over-looked.

You may think this is a ramble about Barry Robson still being able, or  a cry about some old firm youngster who has played one good match in his 3 year career. You’d be wrong and rather surprised to find out who I’m about to suggest. None other than Houston Dynamo’s very own number 16, Adam Moffat.

Moffat was born in Glasgow but, for six years, the family lived in Wales, where he and his sister learned the language. When he was 7 they returned north and Moffat grew up in Linwood, playing much of his football for Rangers’ youth teams at Murray Park. In his teens, he won international recognition, with Charlie Mulgrew, Ross McCormack and Graham Dorrans among his peers.  He signed for Ross County after failing to make the mark at Rangers’ academy. Moffat failed to make a single appearance at Victoria Park and looked for a move elsewhere in pursuit to fulfil his dreams of playing at the top-level. He was moved on to bottom division club Elgin City where he played 27 games and left with a few months left of the season to join Cleveland City in the USL2.

It was assistant manager at the time Richard Huxford who coin the move as he knew a few people out there and it was a career move Moffat has not looked back on once. Huxford was always a believer of Moffat’s ability. Finishing that remaining season at Cleveland City with 8 goals in 19 games, he was so impressive in that short space of time he was even named in the league XI of the season. This prompted him on to better things and he signed for MLS side Columbus Crew in 2007.

Despite a serious knee injury, Moffat racked up 44 appearances in the 3 years he was at the Ohio side, scoring 5 goals along the way.  He was praised for his work ethic by staff, fellow players and the media and he became a fan favourite. At Columbus Crew he won the MLS Cup, the Eastern Conference and the supporters shield all in 2008 and won the supports shield again in 2009.

He was picked by the Portland Timbers on November 24, 2010,  in the 2010 MLS Expansion Draft. The Timbers manager was former Scotland international , Rangers player and brother in-law to Billy Davies, John Spencer.
His most notable appearance of the few he had been when Thierry Henry reacted badly after the two had clashed and Henry got sent off for slapping the Glaswegian on the back of the head. He didn’t quite make the impact in the City of Roses and after only four appearances he was on the move the following year.

Last July he signed for Houston Dynamo. In August he scored MLS Goal of the week and potential Goal of the season when he fired in a 40 yard screamer (which is apparently called an ‘ADAM-BOMB’) against Portland Timbers, the team he had signed from. This season Moffat has a pass completion percentage of 78.8% and has been praised for his efforts in controlling the midfield, including a brave performance in trying to tame the excellent LA Galaxy attacking force. Moffat has also received some bad press for his over zealous challenges and approach to the game. In reply he simply stated that it is normal and part and parcel of the game and that the US media just aren’t used to that kind of rough side.

His rough rugged , yet handsome look is the perfect metaphor for his playing style. It looks jagged and ugly, yet sometimes you are blown away by his passing ability. Okay probably not the best metaphor but my point is, he is a ball playing midfielder who is not scared to stick his foot in.

Houston have a new 25,000 seater stadium on the way and Adam says he would love a chance to move back to the UK but he is enjoying his time in the States and would have to think twice about moving back. And when he is playing amongst the likes of Donovan, Henry , Beckham and Keane – can you blame him..
“If an opportunity came up to play back home, whether it be Scotland or England, I’d think about it, but I see myself settling here. My wife is from California, which isn’t a bad place to settle, is it?”
Moffat still has friends back home and knows that his name has been considered by Craig Levein.

So can he be our new Scottish midfielder and who knows, maybe even captain one day? Instead of placing faith in the same old tried and tested players who don’t turn up against Lichtenstein or Lithuania, why don’t we place our faith in a man who was rejected in Scotland and decided to chase the American dream, and is now living it. I know that I would put him in the squad. I mean, he surely can improve on Lee McCulloch and Barry Robson.

By Simon Bienkowski

Follow him on Twitter @simonbien

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