Club Tops Rest of the World

ML1 in the MLS

We are going to dive deep into four of ex-Motherwell players, two from recent memory and two from back in the 70’s, that have made the move to the over the Atlantic to America.

Starting off we’ve got current Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Andy Rose. Arriving from Coventry City before arriving at Fir Park, Rose would go on to play 40 league matches for Motherwell while helping them reach both League Cup final and Scottish Cup final, where they would put up a fight but would be beaten on both occasions by Celtic.

Rose would leave Motherwell in the winter of 2018 to join Whitecaps where he has played 38 games. When at Motherwell I felt that Rose was a consistent performer and really helped the club getting to both cup finals.

Another player that was part of those two finals is Motherwell academy graduate Chris Cadden. Playing over 110 games for the steelmen, Cadden has also been capped 12 times for the Scotland under 21’s and even gaining two first team caps in friendly games against Peru and Mexico.

After leaving Motherwell, Cadden was picked up by Columbus Crew and immediately loaned out for the 19/20 season to Oxford United before returning to be part of the squad that would win the 2020 MLS Cup. In January 2021, Cadden returned to Scotland to play for Edinburgh side Hibernian.

However before these two, Motherwell had another two players during the 1970’s that have took the trip across the ocean. First off was defender Willie Watson who started out at Manchester Utd before moving to Maimi Toros on loan just before his move to his hometown of Motherwell where he would play over 100 games before moving to Dundee and eventually back over to America to play for indoor side Phoenix Inferno.

The last player to have moved was centre half Willie McVie who played for Motherwell between 1975-1979, racking up an impressive 87 appearances before moving to Canada to play for Toronto Blizzard in the NASL.


Hyundai A-League

As the international stage is being set, I thought to look at how the current club football scene has been doing, with the first league that we look at being the Hyundai A-League which is the top league of Australian football. Just as it is concluding with some great fixtures up ahead, it will be worth a watch if you’re looking to watch even more football than the Euros.

Drawing similarities to Scottish football, the A-League only consists of 12 teams with this season 11 being from Australia and one from New Zealand, Wellington Phoenix. Each team plays each other three times and the winner is presented with the Premiers’ Plate and qualify for the Asian Champions League. There is no relegation for the bottom team in the league.

However the top 6 teams break away from the others and play a knockout tournament called the Finals Series with the top two teams getting a bye in the first round. The winner of Finals Series is crowned champions of the A-League and also qualify for the ACL.

That’s the rules out the way, now onto the teams and who you should be supporting:

At the top of the tree we have Melbourne City FC who have just won their first Premier Plate after finishing runners up last season. Not only do they sound similar but they wear the same colour, share the same shirt sponsor and are also owned by Manchester City owners City Football Group. Although all their transfers this season have joined for nothing, it is reported that Melbourne City have the highest wages in the league. If you are a fan wanting to watch a team grow and could possibly take over the A-League, Melbourne City are for you.

Second in the league are Sydney FC who are looking to build on their success of last season and reclaim their A-League trophy. Sydney FC are the most decorated team in the division with 4 Premiership Plates and 5 A-League Trophies. Glory hunters, Sydney FC are the team to follow. Also to note that former Premier League striker Adam Le Fondre is currently on their books but was loaned out to Mumbai City for this season.

A team for the outsiders would be 4th placed side Brisbane Roar. Winners of 2 Premier Plates and 3 A-League titles while also being the first team to win back to back titles, the roar are looking for success with their last piece of silverware coming way back in 2014. Ex-Motherwell favourite and centre half Tom Aldred is the current captain of Brisbane Roar and will be looking to lift something by the end of the season. Sporting a bright orange home kit with a lion as their crest, they are definitely a team you cannot miss.

If you just like the look of a team based on their badge and kits then look no further than Perth Glory who may have finished 9th in the table but they looked good doing it. Winning trophies is the last thing on their mind with only one title since the beginning of the A-League in 04/05, it’s the kits that you’ll be embracing as the white and purple mixes perfectly and you can’t forget about the Perth badge which I would put up there with the best designed in world football.

Shout out the other teams in the division include Melbourne City FC rivals Melbourne Victory, Sydney FC rivals Western Sydney Wanderers, Adelaide United, Central Coast Mariners, Newcastle Jets, Western United, new boys to the league MacArthur FC and the only New Zealand side Wellington Phoenix.

International Tops Rest of the World

Scott McDonald – Australia 02′

Aussie forward Scott McDonald would start his career off playing for semi-professional outfits Gippsland Falcons and Casey Comets, where he would become to youngest ever National Soccer League player at 15 years of age, before getting his move to to the south coast of England with Southampton. After a couple of loan spells at Huddersfield Town and Bournemouth and a permanent move to Wimbledon FC, it was his next move up to Scotland that would make everyone remember his name.

Signing for Motherwell in 2004, McDonald would make over 100 appearances in claret and amber while scoring over forty goals in his first stint at Fir Park. The Aussie can be most remembered for famously scoring a brace against Celtic on the last day of the season of the 04/05 season to deny Celtic the title, giving it to city rivals Rangers.

Motherwell would accept a bid of £700,000 from Celtic at the end of the 06/07 season where he would spend the next three years of his career making 88 appearances and scoring 51 goals. McDonald would win the league in his first season with the bhoys while being named the leagues top scorer and adding a league cup winners medal to his collection in the 08/09 season. During the Champions League group stage in November 2008, McDonald would famously score against Manchester United, holding them to a 1-1 draw. Scott would move on from Celtic on the 1st of February 2010, deadline day, to Middlesbrough for £3.5 million to join up with previous manager Gordon Strachan.

After Middlesbrough, McDonald would have a successful career playing for Millwall, Motherwell again, Dundee Utd and Partick Thistle before moving back to his homeland of Australia where he’s played with Western Utd, Brisbane Roar and most currently Western Sydney Wanderers. McDonald managed to feature 26 times for his country.

This jersey is one of McDonald’s early tops from his time with the Australia under 20’s where he would play 24 times, playing under coach Ange Postecoglou, who at the moment is being heavily linked to the vacant Celtic managerial position.

This Adidas branded kit bolsters Australia’s classic Green and Yellow, displaying a small felt number in the centre of the jersey front and the normal larger size template on the back. As it’s a under 20’s top, no names were printed on the back.

Instead of the badge showing the Football Australia logo, it shows the Australian coat of arms which bolsters a shield with the badges of states New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania while being supported by a kangaroo and an emu.