Niko Kranjcar: 'He can still make a big impact' - Adam Moffat

Niko Kranjcar arrived at Ibrox this week
Kranjcar arrived at Ibrox on a two-year deal this week

Adam Moffat has become accustomed to encountering high-profile footballers. During his time in Major League Soccer, he has played alongside or against the likes of Raul, David Beckham, Thierry Henry and Kaka.

The appearance of Niko Kranjcar at pre-season training one day last January was never likely to faze him, or his New York Cosmos teammates.

New Rangers signing Kranjcar was looking to build his fitness after leaving Dynamo Kiev, but he quickly settled into the rhythm of life at the North American Soccer League side.

It is the tier below MLS, but Moffat willingly dropped down to that level himself after leaving FC Dallas in 2014.

New York Cosmos is one of the most famous franchises in US soccer, but was out of existence between 1985 and 2010 and is now trying to return to the top-flight.

In that sense of resurrection, it was a suitable temporary home for Kranjcar, who had accepted that his lack of match fitness discounted a move to Europe.

Fitness first

"The way things played out, he got himself in good shape and the club spoke to him about playing in the Spring Season," Moffat said.

"He ended up joining for that spell and getting himself healthy and match fit. It was very good to play alongside him.

"He's a very smart player, technically he's incredible on the ball, he's one of those guys who can make something happen out of nothing.

"At training, some of the things you'd see him do... He's still got a few years left in him. He's a quality player, a guy you want on the ball. He can give good service to the forwards and can crack a good shot as well."

Moffat in action for Houston Dynamo
Houston Dynamo are among Moffat's former clubs

Moffat, 30, was a youth player at Ibrox before spells at Ross County and Elgin City. He, too, travelled to America looking for short-term redemption for his career, which he felt was drifting away from his ambitions.

He ended up impressing for Cleveland City Stars and earning a move to MLS in 2007, going on to play for Columbus Crew, Portland Timbers, Houston Dynamo, Seattle Sounders and FC Dallas.

When Kranjcar was considering the offer of a contract from Ibrox, he spoke to Moffat about Scottish football. The Cosmos midfielder believes the Croatian will fit into the Premiership and life in Glasgow.

Ready to make impact

"He was super grounded," Moffat said. "He'd speak to every single guy in the team, he didn't have an ego. He worked his socks off every day.

"He's a great personality and every guy in the team enjoyed having him around, the young guys learned from him and he was willing to help, which is always good to see in a guy who's had a career like he's had.

"He's just quality on the ball. For him, it was good being here with us, he got healthy, match sharpness. He got a little injury at the end of the season, which wasn't something too big, but he can still make a big impact.

"When the interest initially came up we spoke, about the city, the team. He had a good impression of the team. For him, it's different, he's never played in Scotland so he was asking me a whole host of things about the set up.

"Before he signed there I knew he was intrigued by it and the opportunity seemed really good for him. It's a good step for him."

Moffat did not expect to spend more than a few months in the US, but is now married to a Californian girl, has three children and is settled in the notion that his home is now in America.

There have been chances to return back to the UK, particularly in 2014 when he left FC Dallas and spent time training with Birmingham City, but now that will only be to visit family, and perhaps catch up with Kranjcar in Glasgow.

"It's tougher to get home," he said. "When I was first over here and single, I'd be home every year, then when I got married and it was once every two years, then I have a kid and it's maybe once every three years.

"If I get over, I'll definitely reach out to him and get to a game."

Top Stories