BRIAN SCIARETTA - Thursday, February 17, 2011
Once labeled as one of the top prospects in American soccer just four years ago, Danny Szetela has seen his career disappear and completely fall out of the game.

Rumors of parties and off field distractions have left the once promising midfielder without a club at just 23 years old.

Things have clearly not gotten any better for the New Jersey native as last Friday he and his two brothers were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for a fight outside a bar in Boonton, NJ.

Szetela burst onto the scene in 2004 when he signed with MLS at 17 where weighted lottery determined he would play for the Columbus Crew. That year he was the Parade Magazine High School player of the year and was a standout for the U-17 national team at the 2003 U-17 World Cup in Finland.

In 2007, he was a crucial part of the US U-20 World Cup team that would advance to the quarterfinals of the World Cup in Canada. He scored two goals and put on a series of dominate performances.

His success with the U-20s saw him earn senior team call-ups under US head coach Bob Bradley. In his first cap in a friendly against Switzerland in 2007, he assisted on Michael Bradley's game winning goal.

Later that year he would also play for the US in a World Cup qualifier against Trinidad and Tobago and then in 2008, he was part of the Olympic team.

However during this span his club career began to slowly erode.

In 2007, Szetela left MLS for Spain where he signed with Racing Santander but struggled for playing time. He was then loaned to Brescia in Italy's Serie B and started well but gradually fell out of favor.

Szetela then left Europe to return to MLS in 2009 but struggled to find playing time again and rumors of off-field parties and distractions gradually surfaced. He was released by DC United in March 2010 and has since not been able to pick up a club.
Thursday February 24, 2011 3:16 pm
I agree with Tommy, Tino Q and Benny O are the right people to help him if he wants help. As a fanatic DC Unitd fan (Barra Brava) I was excited when he came to DC but his failure was one of the main reasons DC failed to revive fortunes. We wanted to blame DC management, but it seem pretty clear Danny was his own worst enemy.
All US soccer fans wish him well. Not just because we want a winning side but as human beings we hate to see talent weasted and unfulfilled potential. Fw of us had that talent when we tried to play, and to see squandered what few of us ever came close to is disappointing.
Tuesday February 22, 2011 12:25 am
I witnessed all of the accolades mentioned above about Danny. He had talent, but was by no means special. However, as far as US soccer goes, he could have been a staple in the US senior team for years to come. Kudos to YA for posting this article, top-notch coverage as usual. As any legitimate football aficionado knows, some players, whether they're class or not, simply don't have what it takes to be professionals.
Monday February 21, 2011 6:42 pm
Christ, he is only 23. I certainly made some dumb mistakes at 23. He simply needs some good friends around him. Hopefully, he can turn his life around before he wastes his God given talent. No one can give him the desire. That has to come from deep within. He can stop partying and be a sucess in life, but without desire he is done in soccer. Regrettable, but not tragic.
Juan from L.A.
Saturday February 19, 2011 8:03 pm
Santino Quaranta might be the ideal guy to talk to him in these difficult times. Hope for the best for him and he gets the necessary guidance and gets his head straight.
Saturday February 19, 2011 12:49 am
It's not all over for this talented player if he decides to turn it around and again work hard. There can be redemption but he's got to get disciplined. Prove the critics wrong Danny.
Thursday February 17, 2011 9:55 pm
Sometimes you got to hit bottom before you get wishes Danny!
C. B.
Thursday February 17, 2011 6:51 pm
Total waste of talent. washed up at 23. what a disgrace.

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