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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Europe raiding MLS talent

Donovan goes on loan to Everton, George John to West Ham, Omar Gonzales to Nuremberg (injured), trials and training stints for Adu, Agudelo, Shea, etc. Pattern? Yes. Now comes word that up-and-coming Tim Ream could be headed for Bolton (current team of Stuart Holden) and that they might swoop for Philadelphia's Le Toux.

And that's the real kicker here: talent from the league isn't just for American players. Now teams in Europe are beginning to pick up individuals that have grown in stature while playing in the American league. Freddy Montero (Seattle), for one, has been linked with multiple moves to Europe, as has Joel Lindpere (New York).

This upswing in general interest for MLS players is a good sign for the league and for the development of soccer in the country. These players leave at increasing prices every year, thus enhancing the economic viability and prosperity of the league. It is also a sign that more players abroad are looking to MLS to further their careers on their way to bigger checks and stardom abroad and within their own countries. There have been instances of individuals that join MLS briefly before crossing the Atlantic. Michael Bradley is one such example.

Major League Soccer appears to be at a crossroads at the moment. It is a growing league (Montreal joins this season) that continuously searches for talent abroad (Joao Plata in Toronto, Diego Chara in Portland). It also bleeds out significant players every year. But then again, so does every league. MLS just needs to learn to cope and evolve.

1 comment:

Alastair McCandless said...

Certainly a compliment to the rising quality of the league for sure.