The January transfer window is right around the corner. It’s typically the busiest time of the year for Americans returning to Major League Soccer. In that spirit we’d thought we’d take a look at 6 U.S. players that should make the move to MLS.
Jermaine Jones: Without a questions Jones making the move to MLS would be a step down in his career. Right now he is seeing Champions League time for Schalke 04, one of the best clubs in Germany. He’s also a near-certain lock to make the World Cup roster. But at 32 his time in top flight European football is limited. A move to MLS after the World Cup would allow him to extend his playing career (as a starter) and to stay relevant for the USMNT.
DaMarcus Beasley: After bouncing around Europe for a couple of seasons Beasley found a home, and a nice paycheck, in Liga MX with Puebla. That also allowed him to get back in the USMNT picture. However, the ride hasn’t always been smooth. He was transfer listed in the summer before eventually re-signing with the club. It’s clear that Puebla will probably not be his final destination. A move to MLS in the January transfer window would see him still earn a nice paycheck and probably land at the club of his choice. If he waits six months or even a year that might not happen.
Jonathan Bornstein: Like Beasley, Bornstein plys his trade in Mexico, but unlike Beasley he rarely sees time for his club. He also hasn’t won a USMNT cap in two years. If Bornstein wants to resurrect his career he needs to return to MLS and in a hurry. There are plenty of teams that could use defensive help.
Maurice Edu: Edu is another player in desperate need of a lifeline. He hasn’t seen any time on the field since making the move to Stoke. At temporary loan away to Bursaspor showed that he still has talent but it wasn’t permanent. It’s clear he needs to leave Stoke but the question is where. By returning to MLS Edu can show that he is still one of the best defensive players in the U.S. system. His old team Toronto could sure use him.
Eugene Starikov: A few years ago a player like Starikov wouldn’t have been a good fit for MLS because he is more technical player. But that’s now changed. As Real Salt Lake, Portland, the Galaxy, and others have shown, technical players are now finding their niche in the league. Since his breakout a couple of years back Starikov has struggled for time. There would be plenty of suitors for him if he wanted to come to MLS.
Terrence Boyd: Since making the move from Borussia Dortmund where he starred for the reserves Boyd has done well with Rapid Wien, scoring in nearly half his appearances. But in many ways that’s expected. The Austrian league isn’t known as being one of the most difficult leagues in Europe. He’s getting time on the pitch and scoring, which counts for something but if he wants to earn more caps and solidifying a spot on next year’s World Cup roster he needs to do more. A move to MLS and a hot start to the season with a club would certainly help.
Curtis Reed is a regular contributor to Soccer365. He also writes on rugby and is the founder and editor of This Is American Rugby. He can be found on Twitter @ThisIsAmerRugby, on Facebook, and at www.thisisamericanrugby.com.