The MLS is beginning to build some momentum. With crowds up and the standard of football on offer improving, making a move from Europe’s top clubs to the States is a much more healthy proposition. Here is a list of ten big names who just may give the MLS a shot some time in the future!
10) Roberto Carlos – Quite how this former Real Madrid wing-back hasn’t arrived in the States yet is a surprise to me, but I am sure he is considering it as his final footballing destination. Currently at Turkish side Fenerbahçe, the 35 year old would be a great ambassador of the sport in the US. Always plays with a smile on his face and has done it all in the game. He can therefore wow the crowds whilst helping pass on the tricks of his trade to youngsters watching his every move.
9) Ricardo Quaresma – Now this Portuguese winger may be younger than most on this list, but circumstances may dictate that a move to the MLS may be the best thing possible for this 24-year-old. Having been linked with just about every big team in Europe, his Porto employers decided to put a huge asking price on his head, one that scared off just about everyone from Liverpool to Inter Milan. However, maybe one of the big guns in the States would consider putting in a big bid? There is no reason to consider a move to the MLS to be a step backwards, in many ways it’s a better league to be in than the Portuguese league, so why not?
Samuel Eto’o – Supposedly deemed as surplus to requirements by the new Barcelona manager, but also deemed too pricey for Europe’s top clubs to sign up, a move to the US may be the answer for the Cameroonian hotshot. Again this could be a transfer he considers in 3 or 4 years time but he has all the prerequisites to take the MLS by storm.
7) Freddie Ljungberg – Having just been released from his contract, this Swede will be looking for pastures new. The one time underwear model may well be enticed by a new challenge and a move to the MLS may be perfect for him. He still has a couple of good years in him and as long as his salary demands can be met he would surely be a player who could wow the crowds stateside.
6) Nacho Novo – This Rangers hit man was struggling for recognition in his Spanish homeland so he moved to Scotland and made his way from minnow Raith to the Ibrox side who he has now become something of a cult hero to. However the 29 year old will find first team football harder to come by given the raft of other strikers at the SPL club so a move to America could be just what he needs. The kind of talent who could thrive without breaking the bank and could well become a big hit.
5) Milan Baroš – Having found himself something of a unnecessary luxury at Lyon, where he has been demoted behind the likes of Fred and Benzema at the French champions, the Czech player was also not offered a long term deal at Portsmouth where he spent half a season on loan and is therefore perhaps a good quality striker who could well be one hell of a hit in the US. The 26 year old has proved his worth during a career that has stuttered somewhat of late, he would surely jump at the chance of such a move which could revive his career.
4) Robbie Fowler – The former Liverpool legend has managed to get a contract at Blackburn but it may well prove a bridge too far for the 33 year old striker. Troublesome injuries prevented him from getting much playing time with Cardiff last term and therefore a move back to the Premier League may be more than his body can handle. However a move to America may well be a very real prospect, the instinctive finisher could be rejuvenated by a move to the more sedate pace of the MLS where he would surely be a big favourite with those who have admired him from a far during his Anfield days.
3) Carlo Cudicini – The 34 year old Chelsea keeper has played second fiddle at Stamford Bridge to Petr Cech for so long now he must surely be considering his options. Amazingly still to be capped by his country maybe a move to the USA would revive his career? America has spawned a decent amount of quality keepers from Friedel to Howard but maybe they could do with top stoppers from Europe tending the goal back in the MLS. Carlo would be a perfect signing and maybe now is the right time to tempt him to make the move across the pond.
2) Ronaldinho – The slight chubby Brazilian has of course just moved to AC Milan in order to revive a career that hit the skids these past two seasons but when he finds he has had enough of trying to get the former Italian giants to compete with their city neighbours and seeks to make an even more obscene amount of money I am fairly certain he will wing it to the US where he will no doubt be a huge success, dwarfing even Mr. Beckham in the publicity stakes.
1) Thierry Henry – This may not be as far-fetched as it seems, but possibly a move that could be made in two or three years. Having had a decent (if not spectacular) first season at Barcelona, the former Arsenal legend may find that he feels the urge to go stateside and ply his trade and of course to be closer to his big buddy Tony Parker.