Hartlepool's David Edgar not shocked to see former club Newcastle spend big in USA - as he assesses quality levels in MLS and the National League
Canada international David Edgar reckons North American football gets a bad press - and the same can be said of the National League.
Edgar penned a deal to the end of the season at fifth tier Pools following his release by United Soccer League Championship side Ottawa Fury.
Traditionally the game over in the USA and Canada is mocked by people who see it as nothing more than a retirement league for 'past it' European players. There are plenty challenging that tired narrative of late - with Miguel Almiron's move from Atlanta United to one of Edgar's former clubs Newcastle United, then subsequent success, a stand out of the January window.
That deal was a record sale from the MLS, where Edgar has plied his trade with Vancouver Whitecaps, although it understood to be well short of the £21million reported at the time, possibly even less than the £16million the Magpies paid for Michael Owen. Still, by US standards, it was a mega deal.
Edgar is far from surprised by this kind of move. He has first-hand experience of the quality in North America, and he thinks talent is there.
Just four games into his Pools spell, he thinks the standard is high in non-league football, too.
"There are some good footballers here at this level," said the 31-year-old.
"I am just enjoying getting the buzz back because it has been a stop-start year for me since I had my last injury.
"I wanted to get back to Europe and play - I am happy I made that decision."
Discussing the standards in North America and the comparisons with the UK, he added: "Some of the footballers over there are very good, too.
"Sometimes it is hard to judge or compare that level to this because it is completely different styles really.
"I do think it gets a bad press.
"The game is building slowly and it probably does not get as much credit as it deserves outside of North America."