herald

Monday 5 December 2016

12"

AS KEVIN Doyle and James McClean prepare to join Robbie Keane and Sean St Ledger in their attempt to further the greening of the US soccer scene, Morgan Langley remains determined to be a successful American export to Ireland.

This season is proving to be a frustrating one for fans of St Patrick's Athletic, as last week's surprise defeat to Bray Wanderers leaves them a very worrying 13 points behind league leaders Dundalk.

It's also been a case of frustration for Langley, who joined Pats in the close season, as he's made just four league appearances, all as sub.

Tonight's EA Sports Cup quarter-final tie away to Cork City (7.45) not only offers the Saints a route to some silverware, but it's also a chance for squad players

like Langley to play their way into the side, as a vital league game with Dundalk looms large.

"I feel I should be in the team and a game like this one tonight is a chance for me, hopefully, to show that," Hawaii native Langley told The Herald.

"I have only had a few minutes here and there in the league and it's an understatement to say I feel I should have played more.

"I have been a bit frustrated not to get more game time, being honest this wasn't what I had expected when I came to Ireland, to have played just a few minutes. I have been doing well

in training. I know you need to do well in matches as well but to do that you need opportunities, if this is an opportunity for me in the cup game, I can show what I a really capable of and maybe get a run in the team."

Ireland has been exporting players to the US for decades, back to the Giles/Vancouver days in the '70s to the present day where Keane, St Ledger and (now) Doyle line out in the MLS while compatriots, like ex-Saint Derek Foran plug away in the lower leagues.

American players in Ireland have not been so common, though modern-day successes like Russell Payne and Ryan Guy have been followed by a trio of current LOI players: Langley at St Pats and the Galway United duo of Jake Keegan and Kevin Garcia.

Langley (25) knew Garcia from the US and has of course met Keegan, and if the Ireland experiment works out, he feels more players will come here from the US.

"Ireland is a great option," he says. "I had been on the scene in the US for a while but I wanted a change of scenery. As an American it can be hard to break into the European scene, and the whole issue with work permits isn't easy.

"The president at my last club, who was Portuguese, spoke to me about the advantages of playing in the Europa League for a club in a country like Ireland, and while I still have a lot to do, it's great to be here."

The Irish weather (hailstones in May!) - has not put off the lad from Honolulu as he says it's more "soccer weather" than the extremes in the US.

He's signed until the end of this season but along with the wider aims of Europa and Premier Division success he's keen to prove a point.

"The Pats fans haven't seen the best of me, but if I can play to my potential I feel I can help this team win," the midfielder added.

St Patrick's Athletic

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