CLINT WADDELL - Monday, May 10, 2010
Following their last game of the Bundesliga season, Eintracht Frankfurt's CEO Heribert Bruchhagen stated that the team would be extending Ricardo Clark's contract, binding the American midfielder to the club for the next three years. Club officials will be making an official statement on Monday.
Clark joined Frankfurt during the winter transfer period and initially had a contract for the rest of the season, with an option for an additional three years. It took three months before Clark would see his first minutes of action due to problems with fitness and a nagging calf injury. He did, however, start each of the team's last three games of the season and was able to win the confidence of the coaching staff and management.
Although nothing was certain until Bruchhagen's statement after Saturday's season-closing 3-1 loss to Wolfsburg, Clark was determined to make things work in Germany. In an interview the German newspaper Bild during the week prior to the team deciding to pick up the three-year option, he mentioned how difficult the start of the year was.
"I came to a new team, without a long-term contract," he explained "Then I get injured right away. [It was] a tough time."
Had Frankfurt chosen to allow his departure after this season, the former Houston Dynamo player was nevertheless always set on continuing his career in Europe, with the possibility to join Nats teammates Carlos Bocanegra and Charlie Davies in Ligue 1 a plausible backup.
"I would have just looked for something else in Europe," he clarified. "There was some interest in France. I am happy that my dream of playing in a top league has come true."
Frankfurt head coach Michael Skibbe has spoken positively about Clark over the last few weeks, stating in a recent interview, "Ricardo did well against Mainz and Hoffenheim [and] I think that he would be a good addition for next year as well."
With the Bundesliga regular season completed, Clark joins fellow Americans Michael Bradley and Steve Cherundolo, whose respective teams will both be playing in the Bundesliga again next year.