New Sporting Kansas City player Erik Thommy has highlighted the improvement of MLS as one of the defining factors behind his transfer.
Thommy arrives at SKC following four years with Bundesliga side Stuttgart in his homeland, following previous spells with Augsburg and Fortuna Dusseldorf - the latter on loan.
The 27-year-old sports an impressive CV with 42 goals and 33 assists to his name in senior German soccer and could have easily remained in Europe after departing Stuttgart.
But, speaking to reporters at a press conference following his arrival at Children's Mercy Park, Thommy talked about the changing perceptions of MLS in Europe and how that influenced his decision.
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“In Europe, you recognize that MLS has developed in the last years really fast,” he said. “And you see also now there are a lot of good transfers they did in the last few weeks. You can see that everything goes in the right direction and makes it, for players in Europe, interesting. That’s why I’m here.”
Thommy also believes he is the latest in what will be an ever-growing line of players willing to switch Europe for MLS.
“They know it’s a physical league and league that’s developed really fast into the future,” Thommy added on the perception of MLS overseas. “It makes it attractive. Now when I talk to some guys there, they start to watch MLS. Before they watched American football, now they start to watch MLS too. In the next years it will be, I think – also of course the facilities, the good players and good coaches – a very interesting league for European players.”
Thommy will have little time to settle in Kansas City with SKC in desperate need of help.
Peter Vermes' side sit bottom of the Western Conference with just five wins from 22 matches so far this season. A nine-point gap now separates them from the MLS Cup Playoff spots, while they're the only team not to hit 20+ goals in 2022, managing just 19 so far.
But Thommy - who is able to play in midfield or as a winger - has seen enough from his new teammates to give him confidence that things will turn around soon.
“You have to believe on the pitch that you can win games,” Thommy said. “If you watch the games they are not worse than the other teams. Sometimes it’s luck, sometimes it’s small wrong decisions and we have to believe in ourselves. That’s the most important and then stay as a team.
“I know that we will be successful in the next few weeks if we work as a team and in the locker room, I saw some players who gave me a good feeling. If we stay together we will change results.”