The MLS is gathering momentum and the quality of players on Stateside is improving. A great number of players have recently made the jump from America to top-level European sides, but who else is good enough to prove they have what it takes to make it big in the football world!
TEN) Justin Mapp (Chicago Fire)
His fantastic performances at Chicago Fire in 2006 led to a place in the MLS team of the year. Justin is having another good season for Denis Hamlett’s side, helping them into third spot. Mapp is a good solid midfielder with an eye for goal who already has a great deal of experience for a player of 23.
NINE) Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake)
This 26-year-old former Colorado Rapids favourite is helping Real Salt Lake in their push for the play offs. The hard-running midfielder RSL captain is a big hit with his home fans for his energy-busting passion-filled displays, and such performances show that he would be more than capable of cutting it in Europe.
EIGHT) Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution)
No-nonsense centre back who can be relied on to clear his lines and perform heroics, he is quite easily the best defender in the MLS. His performances this season have helped the New England Revolution to top spot and the 24-year-old could definitely cut it in the European leagues if he was given the shot.
SEVEN) Rohan Ricketts (Toronto FC)
The former Arsenal man surprised many when he left the UK for a move to MLS’s relative newbies Toronto FC. Ricketts has done pretty well for Mo Johnston’s side, who are on the edge of the play-off picture. Rohan could use his move across the pond to help rejuvenate a career that has stagnated somewhat since leaving Tottenham in 2005.
SIX) Shalrie Joseph (New England Revolution)
This solid and sturdy central midfielder who, at 30, could still make an impact in Europe has performed for five years with remarkable consistency at the New England Revolution. Celtic have made multiple offers for Joseph, so maybe they should try one last time.
FIVE) Kenny Deuchar (Real Salt Lake)
This Scottish striker scored goals for fun with Gretna as they made it up through the leagues to the SPL where the “Good Doctor” managed a very respectable six goals in eleven games. He has been instrumental in helping Real Salt Lake have one of the best seasons in a while. Maybe he could be coaxed back by one of the non-Old Firm Scottish sides such as Aberdeen or Hearts?
FOUR) David Beckham (LA Galaxy)
The legend that is David Beckham can still cut it in Europe, albeit maybe not at the giants of the game he once played for. He has shown that he is still able to cut it, and maybe he could finish his career back in the UK? I guess that would depend if any club could afford his astronomical salary, you can bet Mohamed Al Fayed may well have considered a move!
THREE) Sacha Kljestan (CD Chivas)
This 22-year-old attacking midfielder/winger has the hallmarks of a player who could go all the way. He has been in fine form for Chivas and represented the US in the recent Olympic career. His style of play could well suit a move to Spain, where his incisive play and vision could make him a talent we hear more about in the coming years.
TWO) Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)
26-year-old striker Donovan obviously already has experience of playing in Europe from his time at Bayer Leverkusen, but he never really got a look in. Now he is at his peak and has been in fine form at LA Galaxy these past two seasons, and the time may be right for him to give another shot at a European adventure!
ONE) Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas)
Cooper has had a very interesting career for a player who is still only 23-years-old. The tall striker impressed as a youngster and was signed by Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United at the age of 18, but he failed to get much of a chance outside the reserves. He had loan spells at Oldham and in Portugal before deciding to come back to Dallas and hasn’t looked back. Currently second top scorer in the MLS, he was the subject of many bids from Europe who were interested in the prolific goalscorer. Cooper may yet make a big impact if he does decide to give a move away from the MLS another shot.