Major League Soccer in the United States is quickly becoming a more popular league for players to retire or revamp their careers. With more money being thrown around and more teams being added soon to expand the league, many international players are being marketed for a future MLS move.
Other leagues like the Turkish Süper Lig and the Chinese Super League are competing with the MLS for international stars, but players like Nigel de Jong and Ashley Cole who have had long careers as stars have picked the MLS so they can reach a new audience and still be the star in front of a pact stadium.
Here are ten more international stars that should make the MLS move and retake their glory days.
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10. Víctor Valdés – Manchester United (Standard Liége – Loan)
This 34-year-old former Barcelona star has not had the best time after leaving the prized Spanish club for the prized English club. With injury effecting his playing time and a little controversy with United’s manager Louis van Gaal, Valdés was loaned to Belgian team Standard Liége where he is doing quite well.
If he were to move to the MLS where a good keeper is needed for so many teams he could easily play well into his late 30’s and still keep a good clean sheet record.
9. Andrés Guardado – PSV
Though Guardado has just moved from a long stint in La Liga to this new club this season, he should move one more time to the MLS. Not even in his 30’s yet, Guardado could still have a long career ahead of himself.
Fellow countrymen Giovani dos Santos and Erick Torres are both young and making a name for themselves in the MLS. With Guardado’s great vision, passing, ball control he could become a great playmaker in midfield for any MLS team.
8. Emmanuel Adebayor – Crystal Palace
Any team could use a sharp striker and they would find it with Adebayor. After taking a few months off from the Premier League, he was rumored to move to many different clubs.
Unfortunately, he did not end up in the MLS where he could have been one of the “one’s to watch” before the season opener. Best of luck at Crystal Palace, but with such strength and shot power, Adebayor could be knocking balls in the backs of nets in the states in almost every game.
7. Gerard Piqué – Barcelona
He may or he may not but Piqué should finish up strong at Barcelona before he starts to decline and the fans turn on him. One of the world’s best defenders over the last couple years, he could really make an impact on any MLS team.
In the MLS, defense is not one of the “sexy” positions on the field, but maybe Piqué can change that. Every MLS team could use some help on their defense. Maybe Piqué can be a signing on the new Los Angeles expansion team to come in 2018...
6. Franck Ribéry – Bayern Munich
After almost 10 years at the German Club, the 32-year-old has had a very prestigious career. Still going strong, any Bayern Munich fan would be sad to see him go. On the other hand, I’m sure any MLS fan would be happy to see Ribéry join their team.
With amazing passing, shooting, vision, dribbling and other great technical abilities he does not need speed to be successful in the MLS and could play long into his career.
5. Jonas Gonçalves Oliveira – Benfica
Not one of the world’s most known international players, but with a few caps and two goals for the Brazilian national team, Jonas would be a tactical striker for an MLS team.
Similar to Obafemi Martins or Sebastian Giovinco, we've already seen how a little speed mixed with some finesse can help blow past the average MLS defender into a scoring opportunity. Jonas has flown under the radar during his four years at La Liga but he deserves a crowd of fans screaming his name and that can happen in the MLS.
4. Giorgio Chiellini – Juventus
With over 300 caps at Serie A juggernaut Juventus and three FIFA World Cup rosters under his belt, Chiellini is one of the most recognizable defenders playing the game.
Such loyalty to his club, it would be a challenge to make him go but if Andrea Pirlo can why not Chiellini. His tackling, reactions, and leadership would make him a viable caudate for any MLS team. Plus Italians seem to play longer careers so any team would hopefully get him for a good run.
3. Petr Čech – Arsenal
Like Víctor Valdés, Čech would not have a hard time finding a team in need of his skill. Lucky for keepers they can usually play longer careers than other positions on the field and at 33-years-old, Čech could keep his career going strong.
In the MLS, so many high caliber strikers have been signed but only a few teams have great keepers. No team, however, has a keeper as good at Čech and if one put the money forward then they certainly would have a leg up in the season.
2. Marco Parolo – Lazio
This 31-year-old may not be a household name but he would be an excellent addition to any MLS team for his ability to play wherever on the field. Attacking mid, central mid, defensive mid, whatever his team needs him to do he is there.
One issue with MLS teams is trying to force these international players into their schemes. Parolo has an impromptu ability to know where he is needed and the skills to do well in that position.
1. Wayne Rooney – Manchester United
The Red Devil’s captain will always be one on the radar of many Chinese Super League teams, and rumors have also floated around that Rooney is considered for the MLS expansion team in Miami, that will come sometime in the future, led by former Red Devil David Beckham.
Precise striking ability, power, and great leadership are the reasons why Rooney would be great for any team that would want to sign him but after 13 years at Manchester United, injuries may keep affecting his ability to play at that level. In the MLS, players like Robbie Keane are still starting strong at 35-years-old. Surely Rooney could be a star in America and then some.
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