With the conclusion of the Barclays Premier League and other European leagues, transfer rumors are starting to surface as multiple teams attempt to strengthen their roster. This period is excruciatingly exciting for fans that are curious to see if their clubs would secure a valuable asset.
Due to Major League Soccer’s infamous status in Europe, its star players aren’t at the center of transfer rumors. Because of the preceding statement, I’ve decided to make a list of five MLS players who are ready to make the switch to Europe.
For this list, players who have plied their trade across the Atlantic Ocean for a reasonable amount of time won’t be included. So don’t expect to see Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley and Tim Cahill on the list.
Justin Mapp: Arguably one of the most underrated players in MLS, the Montreal Impact winger is a natural threat out-wide. He is an excellent facilitator and he can play on both flanks. He would be successful in the Dutch or Turkish League.
Chad Marshall: The center back is a towering figure that excels on set pieces. He has been Seattle Sounders best defender this season and his 10 years of experience makes him a great leader. His physicality and shot-blocking ability makes him a perfect fit in the French league.
Dillon Powers: Last year’s MLS Rookie of the Year is a very talented box-to-box midfielder. He distributes the ball with sublime technique and can shoot a powerful shot from distance. Even though this season is only his second year as a professional, Powers would be a regular starter in the Dutch and Portuguese league.
Five MLS players ready to play in Europe
Osvaldo Alonso: If you are coach in Europe looking for a defensive midfielder that can run all day, make timely interceptions and doesn’t crack under pressure, Alonso is your guy. Nicknamed the honey badger because of his hard-tackling and all-around toughness, the 28-year-old is one of the most dedicated professionals in the league.
Every time he steps out on a field wearing Seattle Sounders color, he gives 1,000 percent. His hard work and loyalty has earned him team MVP for four straight years (2010-2013). Alonso would fit perfectly into a mid-table team in the Bundesliga and French League.
Darlington Nagbe: Creative, artistically gifted, and intelligent are words that describe the kind of player the Portland Timbers attacker is. Even though this season hasn’t been kind to the Liberian, he is still one of the best midfielders in MLS.
He has the ability to make a defense disappear with his pin-point passing and continuous movement. Nagbe is a player with decent speed and fantastic feet. He would be a nuisance for defenders in the Russian, Italian, and Turkish league.
Matt Besler: It is almost guaranteed that you’ll be watching the only defender on this list in the World Cup. Sporting Kansas City’s captain is the kind of player coaches desire to have in the heart of their defense.
He is a fast defender with a great mind, which makes him an asset when defending counter-attacks. He is well built, coordinated and technically versed. If he delivers the same kind of performances MLS fans are accustomed to in Brazil, don’t be surprised if England, Spain and Germany comes calling.
Chris Wondolowski: At the age of 31, San Jose Earthquake’s captain isn’t showing any sign of slowing down. The late bloomer has earned himself a spot in Jurgen Klinsmann’s preliminary squad and could be headed to Brazil this summer.
Positioning, movement and never-give-up mentality are the three things that make Wondolowski a dangerous player. He scores so many goals because he’s always in the right place, at the right time. He calculates where he needs to be and always beats his defender to the ball.
John Terry is one of many players to speak positively about the American’s movement. Chelsea’s skipper walked up to Wondo at half-time of the 2012 MLS All-Star game, and said, “Your movement is incredible.”
If given a chance to play in either the Dutch or French league, there is no doubt Wondolowski would continue to be a goal scoring threat.
Graham Zusi: The midfielder is arguably the best playmaker in the league. He can play through the middle or out-wide. He is a creative mastermind that enjoys creating chances for others, but isn’t afraid of firing at goal.
The Brazil bound midfielder could be one of the biggest surprises of the World Cup. He would be deployed on the right or left side of Klinsmann’s offense, with the responsibility of creating chances for Jozy Altidore. If he succeeds, multiple teams in Europe would be desperate to obtain his services.
Due to his splendid talents, Zusi would be a star on a mid-table Premier League or La Liga team.
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