Whether it’s a big-name like Kaka or an up-and-comer like Alexander Lopez, MLS has increasingly become the desired destination for soccer stars.
In the last five years, those stars have come in different shapes and sizes.
For MLS cynics, there is the aging star looking to spend the twilight of his career in the United States. Somehow a handful of these transfers—Thierry Henry and David Beckham, for example—have defined MLS as a “retirement home.”
For MLS purists, there is the hidden gem that develops in MLS and prospers in a top-tier league overseas. Just ask Sporting Kansas City/United States Men’s National Team fans the kind of player Wigan Athletic received in Roger Espinoza.
Then there are the modest stars that are unheralded by the media, overlooked by the casual fan and essential for a championship run. The Houston Dynamo can attest to that after signing Oscar Boniek Garcia last year.
All three construct the spectrum of MLS stars.
Rather than fill an entire article with outlandish scenarios based on no credible traction, all three categories will be covered.
There is no room for the “Cristiano Ronaldo to MLS in 2018” slide here.
So from the big-name to the up-and-comer—and everything in between—here are the five current stars bound to play in MLS and their potential destination.