DANNY Wilson’s impending move from Rangers to Colorado Rapids in the MLS seems to have raised a few eyebrows here in Scotland among many fans not only at Rangers but also elsewhere in the country.

Wilson had been in great form of late and it was widely anticipated that he would sign a new deal to stay in Glasgow. But he has decided on something completely different and I personally think he has made a great decision.

Others won’t agree. ‘Why is he going to America at the peak of his career at 26 to a graveyard for ageing pros,’ seems to be the gist of it.

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The ignorance of some in my opinion has reached English Premiership proportions in terms of the MLS. But certainly not from me. I think he is moving to what is overall a better league than the Scottish Premiership with better facilities by a country mile.

The days of MLS teams signing big names looking for one more payday in the sun have long gone. They are now looking at guys like Wilson at 25/26 or younger with their best days in front of them to come in and make them better long term.

It is one of the fastest growing leagues in terms of attendance and quality in the World. Soccer is the fastest growing sport in America. The US youth international teams are now making inroads in major tournaments. Quality is breaking through as most MLS teams now have academies or Colt teams in the USL the league below.

The average attendance last season was just over 22,000. Clubs such as Seattle and Atlanta regularly get crowds of 40,000 plus. Most games are sold out. In fact, Atlanta drew a crowd of 71,000 to their play off game a few months ago. The facilities are light years ahead of what we have in Scotland.

David Villa was actually just recalled back into the Spain squad and Sebastian Giovinco is still in and around the Italy set up.

Wilson can still fulfill any aspirations of getting back in the Scotland squad by performing well in the MLS. The league itself is very strong with every team packed with international players from around the globe.

I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to go and play with Colorado Rapids in 2008 and my mind was blown even back then at the facilities at the club. All of which have since been built on.

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They had 24 floodlight full size grass parks including the first team training pitch which is like a bowling green during the season. They also have two full size artificial surfaces. They have now added to that a 42,000 sq feet indoor facility with a full size 4G pitch. Hydrotherapy pools and the best of the best in gym equipment all are on site. You get everything you could wish for and nothing is a bother.

It’s a magnificent set up that Wilson will be walking into at Colorado. Not to mention the small matter of a long term contract on big money. Denver itself is a beautiful city for his family to settle too.

The one thing I would warn Danny about is the altitude. I can remember in my very first pre season training session at the Rapids doubled over in agony being sick after about 20 mins of the session. I had been half way through a campaign at Dunfermline when I signed so was in good nick.

The other boys were relentless in their ribbing as they questioned whether being a Scotsman I had been on the bevvy the night before. That stereotype eh? I hadn’t. I just couldn’t breathe that first few weeks as it seemed like there was no air at all. But once I got used to it I was in the best shape of my life and could run all day. Unfortunately a knee injury and change of manager curtailed my time at Colorado, but it was the most enjoyable year of my career.

Going to play in front of full houses in Los Angeles and Toronto, staying in top hotels and visiting all these great cities around the US was an unforgettable experience. Add in a Miami franchise set to be partly launched by David Beckham today and you can see the attraction for players in Europe.

Some will think Wison has shown a lack of ambition moving from Rangers to the backwaters of the MLS. Nothing could be further from the truth. He is about to live the American dream.


Worrying times indeed for everyone at Ross County. Yesterday’s defeat by Rangers has left them five points adrift at the bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership. Three wins in 18 since Owen Coyle took over makes for miserable reading.

I like Owen as a fella, but his recent managerial exploits would certainly not inspire any great confidence in the supporters that they can get out this mess.

Harry Souttar and David N’Gog look decent additions, but more must arrive before the January transfer window closes later this week or they will be big favourites to follow their Highland neighbours Inverness Caledonian Thistle into the minefield of the Championship.