BRIAN SCIARETTA - Friday, August 3, 2012
After spending the last 18 months abroad, Ricardo Clark will return to MLS and rejoin the Houston Dynamo where he won two MLS Cups in 2006 and 2007.
Clark, 29, is now part of the Dynamo organization again but he is not yet able to play due to salary cap issues at the team.
"[Ricardo Clark] signed a contract and we received his ITC," Dynamo president Chris Canetti told YA on Thursday. "Now it's just a matter of getting him onto the active roster which we're not in a position to do at this point due to roster and salary cap compliance issues."
It is widely expected that if Houston Dynamo central defender Geoff Cameron completes his move to Stoke City of the English Premier League, there will be room under the salary cap for Clark.
Cameron has one remaining hurdle in his transfer to Stoke City and that is to obtain a British work permit and his hearing is scheduled for August 8.
Clark left Houston at the conclusion of the 2009 MLS season to sign with German club Eintracht Frankfurt but he struggled to find playing time. During his time with the club he played in just 15 games.
Earlier this year, he was loaned to Norwegian club Stabaek who were in the midst of a financial crisis and currently sit in last place in Norway and are certain to be relegated out of the top flight.
While Clark is electing to rerturn to Houston, he did have options elsewhere in Europe.
"After I settled his contract with Eintracht Frankfurt with severance pay and the loan to Stabaek FK in Norway ended," Clark's European agent Brian Eylert confirmed. "I had offers for Ricardo from Sweden and Greece and I was in discussions with a couple of 2nd German Bundesliga clubs to possibly sign him in the current transfer window. In the meantime, his American agent worked with MLS and Houston on a deal to bring Ricardo back to his former club in the US and they apparently reached an agreement."
Clark will now be returning to MLS where he has enjoyed enormous success as a player. He began his professional career in 2003 with the Metrostars and was traded to San Jose in 2005. That franchise relocated to Houston and Clark's four seasons with the Dynamo were the best of his career.
It was with the Dynamo where Clark earned frequent callups to the US national team. He currently holds 34 caps and has scored three goals.
"He's been a good player for us for four years and he's a fan favorite," Canetti concluded. "So I think it's a good signing for us and I'm looking forward to getting him on the field."