The U.S. professional soccer league seeks to be more competitive with different profiles to those that it has included
It seems that the Major League Soccer (MLS) will leave behind its tendency to hire world soccer stars who were on the verge of retirement. In the U.S. league have played personalities such as David Beckham, Rafa Marquez, Thierry Henry, Andrea Pirlo, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Kaká and Bastian Schweinsteiger, among many. There is no doubt that having these players is almost guaranteed full stadiums, sold T-shirts and more fans for the clubs, but the truth is that in the results were not necessarily the best.
According to the Chicago Tribune, some leagues are characterized by wanting to raise the level with huge amounts of money. That is clearly the case of soccer from Saudi Arabia, Russia, Qatar and China. Their main signings are players in retirement or "burnt cartridges" of the main leagues, which seek to fill their pockets rather than raise the level of the tournaments of these countries. Therefore, for a player to reach these leagues represents a guarantee of exorbitant salaries, but at the same time a setback or the acceleration of the end of their careers, because they will hardly play again with their National Teams or with any European club of relevance.
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The MLS was considered, until recently, part of that club of the "multi-billionaires" leagues, and now invests its money in young stars that previously went straight from South America or Europe. In its most recent study, published by ESPN, MLS proved to be the league with the youngest and most diverse league in the United States, surpassing the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL. Of the 637 foreigners who are active in their clubs, 234 are nationals.
According to the Mexican newspaper Esto, the MLS surpassed the Liga MX, its closest competitor, in the number of players it contributed to the National Teams of other countries. In fact, 19 players left the U.S. clubs for 14 of the Mexican clubs. The country that has been most open to strengthen the U.S. tournament is Argentina, with 23 players in the study presented by ESPN. In the hiring of this year 24 South Americans joined the league, being Venezuela with 7 and Argentina with 6 who contributed the most, according to Mundo Deportivo.
With these young people, the MLS will be able to do good business, they could raise the level of their league and if their level deserves to make the leap to Europe. In this regard, Venezuelan coach Giovanni Savarese said to Chicago Tribune: "Something that helps is that the young players of South America come with an important value, they have a very big top ahead, and later they can be sold to other markets such as Europe." This brief period that the U.S. league has for these young people will revitalize their level, in addition to making profits for it. In addition, the Americans are also incorporating important technicians such as Jürgen Klinsmann or El Tata Martino. The latter was the author of the success of Atlanta United, a club that renounced the stars in retirement for young promises, according to the same newspaper. Martino's success now seeks to be emulated by other teams, for the benefit of the league.
It will soon cease to be considered a setback that players with a level for Europe go to the MLS, that happened to Carlos Vela, the Dos Santos' brothers and the Peruvian Raúl Ruidíaz. The Inca player was criticized for leaving the Morelia of the Liga MX and moving to the Seattle Sounders of the MLS, as it was considered a setback in his career, since the fans expected him to go to Europe. The reality is that, according to Diario Correo, Ruidíaz will be the best paid Peruvian player in history in a league that is on the rise and in the case of Mexicans being in the United States did not prevent them from being selected for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
LatinAmerican Post | Luis Liborio
Translated from "De 'viejitos' a jóvenes: La Major League Soccer cambia sus tendencias"