Marek Mintal dribbles the ball while playing for 1. FC Nuremberg of the German Bundesliga. (Courtesy of Bundesliga.de)
Today, respected online German news source Nord Bayern reported that Mintal would not be journeying to the United States to play for the Union. Rather, Mintal will remain with Nuremberg in Germany.
(The following is my best attempt at translation of the article found: here)
Mintal has officially decided to remain with 1. FC Nuremberg, but had not announced it et, because he first wanted to inform Philadelphia's coach, former Bundesliga player Piotr Nowak, personally. Sporting director Martin Bader did not know yesterday whether or not the 33-year-old would leave but did not think he would go across the pond.
Apparently the offer from Major League Soccer (MLS) was not attractive enough for Mintal to adventure to America. After flying to America, the visit for the Slovakian was not exactly enthusiastic. The Nuremberg reservist, who participated in training again yesterday, is still under contract until the season ends. What happens this summer, for the former Bundesliga top scorer, who wanted to play football for a few more years, remains to be seen. He has declined an offer to join the club, after the end of the season, as a youth coach.
The 33-year-old Mintal was linked recently to the Union and the MLS in general. When the Union hinted towards announcing players this week Mintal was among the players suggested to be part of the event. Then German newspaper Bild reported that Mintal was finalizing a deal with a fellow MLS club, Toronto FC. Instead Mintal was reported to have decided to take a week to decide his future. His decision was to be not only about the Union but the MLS as a whole. Now he has chosen to remain in German, close to his native Slovakia.
Mintal has struggled to find the form that made him the Bundesliga's top scorer in 2005. That season the former Slovakian international led the German top league in goals with 24 goals. But after the 2004-2005 season, Mintal's decline began. In 48 games over the next three seasons Mintal managed only 7 goals. He regained some form in 2008-2009 when he and Nuremberg were demoted to 2. Bundesliga. Scoring 16 goals in 26 league appearances showed that the Slovakian could find scoring form once again.
However, the past two seasons back in the Bundesliga have been rough times for the former scoring champion. 2009-2010 was a poor year for Mintal, hauling in only one goal in 15 league matches. This season has proven to be the worst of his career, with six games, no goals and a role amongst the reserves for the lower mid-table club.