Former MLS star Simon Elliott is under the impression that New Zealand football needs to help itself rather than rely on other competitions.
The former LA Galaxy, Columbus Crew, San Jose Earthquakes and Fulham midfielder – now a Galaxy youth coach – does not necessarily agree that Kiwis having such an influence in Major League Soccer is good for the game back home.
The likes of Ryan Nelsen (Toronto FC head coach), Gavin Wilkinson (Portland Timbers technical director), Duncan Oughton (ex-Columbus Crew, now TFC assistant) and Elliott all hold prominent positions in North America but the latter says perhaps it is not the answer when developing players from the bottom.
“The game back home has its own challenges to overcome,” he told MLSsoccer.com.
“We shouldn’t have to rely on MLS to help us. For individual players, yes, it makes sense. But we’ve got to do a better job cultivating our own and giving them a place to play without making them feel like they need to go thousands of miles away.”
And as for New Zealand’s World Cup playoff against Mexico, in which they trail 5-1 after last week’s first leg, Elliott added: “You can’t play scared like that. I don’t care where you’re playing or who it’s against.”
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