Robbie Findley, former and current Real Salt Lake striker, is back at the club where he made a name for himself after a two-year stint at Nottingham Forest. That time didn't go as planned, with the striker finding himself increasingly less involved as the club's management changed hands a remarkable four times during his tenure.
His return to Real Salt Lake sees him at a club where he is naturally more comfortable, making the transition easier.
"To finally get it done and to be here is a good feeling," Findley said. "Being able to come back to a place where I'm comfortable, where I know a lot of the guys and the coaching staff, made it that much easier."
The return to familiar circumstances is helpful, but Findley said he's not coming in expecting to be handed a place in the team.
"I always have something to prove," he said. "I've got to earn a spot, I haven't solidified anything here."
Javier Morales, attacking midfielder, is excited for Findley's return: With a fast option up front, the playmaker often had an efficient outlet for his passing ability.
"When he played for us (in 2008), I made almost 15 assists, so I'm very happy that he's back," Morales said, laughing.
RSL coach Jason Kreis said Findley's return is exciting for more than simply his speed on the pitch.
"He's a player that we really, really enjoyed when he was here," Kreis said. "He's a great team chemistry guy, he's extremely hardworking, and I think he's in the exact right position for success right now because he's also a player that hasn't done well since he left us."
Findley's lack of success at Nottingham Forest leaves the player with something to prove, Kreis said.
"Let's be frank and honest, I think there's no reason to shy away from that," he said. "He has not succeeded at his latest endeavor, so he comes back to us with something to prove. In our prior experiences, when we bring players to our team who have something to prove and are hungry for something, those players have done particularly well. We are excited to hopefully help Robbie get back to being Robbie Findley on an upward curve."
Despite not finding real success while in England, Findley said his experiences were largely positive.
"I had a few different managers, which probably wasn't the best," he said. "I learned a lot, met a lot of guys. It was a good experience. I had a lot of fun."
With his return to the United States and to what he hopes is a club where he might have more opportunities, Findley's hoping to work his way back into national team contention. He famously saw time in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and he's been capped 11 times for the United States.
"That comes down to playing games and scoring goals," he said. "That's where it killed me over in England. I wasn't playing consistently. I scored a few goals, but not on a regular basis. If I can get the games in and start scoring and we're successful, I think all that will start falling into place."
And what of MLS? Some of those he played with in England, Findley said, are interested in plying their trade in America.
"They're big on (MLS)," Findley said. "They watch it, they have a few games on TV over there, too. A lot of them would like to come over and play. It's definitely going in the right direction."