Adam Moffat has traveled a long way in his career.
But unlike many of the men he will line up against in the MLS Cup Final on Saturday, he has rarely graced a club or left it in triumph, littered with honours.
Ross County may now be an SPL side but were an altogether more modest outfit when Moffat played in the small town of Dingwall, before he enjoyed his time in a successful Columbus Crew outfit who plucked him from the Cleveland Stars.
Using Portland as a hopping stone, he has found yet another new lease of life deep in the heart of Texas and now finds himself the only likely surviving midfielder from last year’s Cup Final starting XI.
Boniek Garcia and Ricardo Clark may have arrived and strengthened the midfield but the gritty Glaswegian has remained a vital cog in Dominic Kinnear’s increasingly dangerous machine.
If Moffat felt distanced from the Scottish Highland pit stops of Dingwall and Elgin City as palm trees hovered over him at the Home Depot Center, he quickly corrected an initial questioner who bizarrely asked him if the pouring rain was upsetting him:
“It’s annoying for some people. It doesn’t bother me. I’m from Scotland. I like playing in the rain. If it rains, fine. If it doesn’t – again fine. If you’re worrying about the weather then you’re probably worrying about the wrong thing.”
That hardcore unspoilt attitude may explain his relationship with another exiled Scot, the far more American Dominic Kinnear.
Kinnear as Moffat refers to him is a man of simple uncomplicated methods:
“He’s straightforward. He’s not anything super fancy. He’ll say that himself. He’s direct. He doesn’t really complicate things much. He’s passionate about what he does. He gets players fired up. Creating opportunities was an issue last year. This year we’re well prepared for that and we’re a stronger team for that.”
Despite his travels, Moffat is surprisingly still only 26 and still improving as a player, a fact that he acknowledges himself. Moreso, he acknowledges that it is Major League Soccer that is assisting with his improvement:
“With the league drawing a little bit more respectability around the world, it’s only good for me.
The quality over here is getting better year on year. It really is. I’ve come over here and played against boys from Central American and South America. I’d never played against boys like that before.
They see they game a little bit differently. They’re really skillful. It helps you learn when you’re playing against different styles of play.It’s been great getting a little taste of how people do it in other parts of the world.
Moffat has not spoken of the possibility of bringing that knowledge to the struggling Scottish national side with either of two men in a position to advise Vancouver Whitecaps, Barry Robson or Kenny Miller.
Neither had arrived yet in the Glass City when Houston met Vancouver earlier in the season.
One man who was there is Caps assistant manager Paul Ritchie who was a close friend of Scotland boss Craig Levein, but he is now ex-Scotland boss Craig Levein.
As Moffat wryly concludes, it’s ‘a bit late for that to be of any use now’.
Moffat is still interested however and having received no overtures from the Scottish Football Association (SFA), is resigned to making himself known in some other manner. Given his recent penchant for long distance goals, it was put to him that another firecracker of a score this time in a cup final, could be the key that unlocks the gates of Hampden Park.
“I’ve not heard anything from the SFA or anything like that. I’m sure my name’s been mentioned at least. I would love that.
I will (shoot from distance) if I get the opportunity. I’m not going to swing just for the sake of it. If it’s sitting nicely, I’ll go for it. This cup final would be a good moment to score. If I score, I’ll send the video to Hampden, get a DVD compiled.”
He was laughing as he spoke but whether he was joking or not, never became totally certain.
More MLS Cup Final 2012:
Two Press Conferences – Two Very Different Moods
Can the man from a rising league rescue a declining country?
Houston Dynamo Training Gallery
Tally Hall: I hope there’s a little Seattle contingent cheering for the Houston Dynamo
Dunivant Match-Up Key for the LA Galaxy
Did Gonzalez reveal Postseason Plans?
The MVP Gallery – Wondo 2012 in Pictures
Hype or no hype, even the diehards should respect Beckham