Major League Soccer in the United States is on the rise. As its popularity increases, more money is being spent on big name stars to join teams in the league.
Players like Kaká and David Villa both kicked off new teams joining the MLS and there are more new teams upcoming in the next few years that are going to need talent.
Even established teams do not want to be left in the dust, so Premier League legends Didier Drogba, and Steven Gerrard were also brought in during the mid-season transfer window.
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One pattern in the MLS we can see with these star players is they are for the most part playing in the latter stages of their careers as most are aged 30 or above.
The MLS is a great league for players to come and play before they retire from the game. Most stadiums are filled; the players will instantly become fan favourites and the best players in the team, and they get paid lots of money.
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Here are ten international stars that should consider making the move from Europe to the MLS in the next few years:
Ricardo Quaresma, Beşiktaş J.K
This 31-year-old Portuguese star has been bouncing from club to club barely staying at one for more than three seasons. A perfect candidate to finish his career where he will be appreciated.
Quaresma is a powerful, smart, winger who has a good scoring and assisting record across Europe. The former-Porto star has great ball control that would be a real benefit in the MLS; players like Clint Dempsey and Sebastian Giovinco have blown past defenses with a few little tricks.
Bryan Ruiz, Sporting CP
The Costa Rican star helped Fulham as much as he could during his run there. Now at Sporting CP where Ruiz will either shine or begin to fade away.
This 30–year-old could do some damage at an MLS club. Fast and skillful, he likes to get in and around the edge of the box and against weaker opposition, he could thrive there. With Ruiz’s excellent vision and passing ability he certainly would not fade away anytime soon playing in the MLS.
Geoff Cameron, Stoke City
Cameron has a trait that teams in the MLS love; he already plays for the United States national team.
Plus the bonus of having spent four years in the MLS before moving to England in 2012. The MLS has some amazing international players, but very few are defenders. Cameron could make an impact on any team, as any team would do better with a defender of Cameron’s caliber.
Fernando Torres, Atlético Madrid
The Spanish star has had better days. Still a good player but one who has already hit his prime and hit it hard.
After moving from Liverpool to Chelsea in 2011 Torres’ goal to game percentage went down 46% and continues to go down the older he gets.
Goals are what strikers are judged on, and he is getting limited game time off the bench in Madrid. If he were to make the move to the MLS, he would undoubtedly be one of the best strikers in the league.
José “Pepe” Reina, Napoli
MLS sides look more at the lucrative deals to sign former world-class attacking talent and often overlook their choice of goalkeepers.
There are the home-country heroes like Nick Rimando and Bill Hamid, who have been doing very well, but not much of the money in the MLS has been spent on goalkeepers.
Júlio César was on loan at Toronto F.C. in 2014 but he only played seven games before returning to Queens Park Rangers.
Reina is 33-years-old, which some could argue, is the prime age for a goalkeeper these days. If he were to join any MLS side, he would hands-down be the best goalkeeper in the States.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Schalke 04
Even at 32-years-old this international star continues to impress every game. Schalke has been lucky to keep him at the club for the past five years.
Many fans would like to see the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Wayne Rooney make the move, but that almost seems too unreal.
Huntelaar may not have as much international recognition as those players, but he would make just as big of an impact if an MLS club put him on the front line.
Daniel Agger, Brøndby
Out of all the older stars in Europe this may be the player that is least likely to make the MLS move.
It is not because he is 'too good' for the MLS but because after Agger’s spell with Liverpool, he transferred back to the club he spent his youth career, back in his home country. Every team needs Agger’s marking and tackling abilities, especially former club, Liverpool.
Thiago Motta, Paris St-Germain
The Italian defensive midfielder has been a passing machine throughout his career. Defensive midfielders do not always get the credit they deserve but when one can break up play and get the ball moving forward, clubs take notice.
Motta has played for some of the best clubs throughout Europe but now needs to do what fellow international teammates Andrea Pirlo and Sebastian Giovinco have done and move to the MLS.
There are some great defensive midfielders in the MLS already but looking at the recent transfer window; that position is one of the main positions teams seem to be looking to fill.
Fernandinho, Manchester City
The Brazilian is an unsung hero for the Manchester City and could easily do a job with them for many years to come.
It is remarkable then that the 30-year-old has only been playing for the Brazilian National Team for the past four years. With six Ukrainian Premier League titles under his belt and spending the last two years at one of the best English teams, there is no doubt Fernandinho has some high-level experience.
Wesley Sneijder, Galatasaray S.K.
The Süper Lig in Turkey has become one of the main leagues competing with the MLS for older international stars.
Sneijder is an international star with many caps and goals for the Netherlands and even their captain for a short period. Sneijder is a well-rounded midfielder with great ball control, passing, shooting and anything else a team needs when looking to spend big bucks.
Sneijder could easily thrive, he is a similar mold to Brazilian superstar Kaká and would make a great captain for any team in the MLS.
MLS fans: Which players from Europe would you like to see cross the pond to the US? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below.
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