10 MLS Stars Who Are Good Enough for the Premier League
There are few occasions in which Major League Soccer and the English Premier League are brought up in conversation together.
Usually when the two domestic leagues are linked, it is because an aging Premier League star has inked a deal to see out his career in MLS.
However, there have been a few instances over the years that have seen players go the other way, including Geoff Cameron's move from Houston to Stoke City.
With that in mind, we've taken a look at 10 current MLS players who could make it in the Premier League.
We chose to look mostly at young players since we already know the likes of Robbie Keane, David Villa and Sebastian Giovinco would do well in the English top flight.
Here's a look at the 10 MLS players we think would be good enough to play in the Premier League.
Whenever Darlington Nagbe's name comes up, fans of the United States men's national team begin to gush over the talent of the Portland winger.
The Liberia-born midfielder, who will be eligible for the USMNT by the end of the year, is one of the most dynamic players at his position.
In the Timbers' most recent match against the LA Galaxy, Nagbe tore apart the Galaxy back line with his pace and on-the-ball prowess.
However, just like any dynamic winger, Nagbe does have his off days. When he strings together a strong run of matches, he is able to produce the quality needed for the Premier League. But there are still a few concerns about his consistency.
One player who has been a model of consistency since entering the league is D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid.
Hamid, who is third on the USMNT depth chart behind Brad Guzan and Nick Rimando, could easily become the next great American player between the pipes.
After he was let down on countless occasions by a lackluster defense in 2013, Hamid produced the best numbers of his career in 2014.
Hamid recorded 110 saves, 10 shutouts and 14 wins in 30 games last season. Those numbers were good enough to earn him his first start in a USMNT shirt against the Republic of Ireland in November.
Considering the terrific reputation of American goalkeepers in the Premier League, it would not be shocking to see the 24-year-old jump across the pond in the near future.
Any team that likes to control the pace of the game through its midfielders would love to have Wil Trapp on its side.
The 22-year-old American is quickly becoming one of the top possession-minded defensive midfielders in MLS.
Trapp broke on to the scene during the Columbus Crew's fantastic end to the 2014 season, and the young player parlayed that into a USMNT call-up for the annual January camp.
While two games may be a small sample size to judge his progression in 2015, Trapp has thrived in Gregg Berhalter's system at the start of his third season in the league.
One concern potential buyers may have is his ability to play by himself in a defensive midfield role. Currently, Columbus employs a pair of players in the midfield pivot, which takes the pressure off of Trapp if he has a bad outing.
Further up the pitch in the Columbus setup lies the older brother of Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain.
Federico Higuain has been nothing short of a hit since his arrival in Ohio in 2012, as he has scored 27 goals in 73 appearances.
The set-piece master has netted 11 goals in each of the past two seasons, and based on what we've seen from the explosive Crew attack early in 2015, he has the potential to score over 10 goals once again.
Higuain's best asset is his delivery on set pieces. Throughout his time in MLS, the 30-year-old Argentinian has struck fear into the hearts of plenty of goalkeepers with his free-kicks.
Although he may not be suited for a top-tier club in the Premier League, Higuain could be a solid fit for a club in the middle of the table, especially when it comes to scoring off set pieces.
There is one thing Patrick Mullins knows how to do really well, and that is score goals.
The 23-year-old, who is still searching for a consistent starting spot in the New York City FC lineup, has been lauded as a top goalscorer since his days at the University of Maryland.
Before he was selected with the 11th pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, Mullins put together an impressive collegiate career that saw him score 47 goals in 92 matches. He also earned 35 assists in the same span.
In just 14 starts in his rookie season, Mullins scored on four occasions before he was made available in the expansion draft by New England.
Mullins is still a work in progress at the professional level, but he is learning under Villa at NYCFC, and he does have a strong scoring pedigree that some young players in the Premier League would envy.
Another second-year player that has turned heads in his short time in MLS is Chicago's Harry Shipp.
Shipp could end up being the best player on the worst team in 2015, which may only accentuate his skills.
In his first 180 minutes of play in 2015, Shipp has displayed the same impressive qualities he did during his rookie campaign in which he scored seven goals and assisted on six strikes.
If Shipp, who has a solid passing eye and a knack for making strong runs, was a member of a struggling Premier League side, he may have started to receive interest from clubs in the higher echelon of the league.
But unfortunately for Shipp, he is stuck on Chicago's sinking boat until someone comes to rescue him.
Luis Robles is one of the most underrated players in MLS, as he has been a model of consistency in goal for the New York Red Bulls since 2012.
Robles, who played in Germany with Kaiserslautern and Karlsruher before moving back to the United States, has made over 100 saves in his two full seasons with the club.
The 30-year-old has also displayed impressive health, as he has not missed a game since he took over the starting gig on Sept. 29, 2012.
While he may not be targeted by England's top clubs because of his age, we could see Robles fitting into an average side like Stoke City or Crystal Palace and thriving.
The South American pipeline created by MLS has brought a ton of talent into the United States since the league's inception in 1996.
One of the latest arrivals from South America is Colombian winger Fabian Castillo, who was arguably the best player in the league for a four-game stretch in 2014.
The 22-year-old with ridiculous pace earned a five-year contract extension in the offseason due to his exploits on the pitch for FC Dallas last season.
Unlike some of the other dynamic wingers on this list, Castillo has already started to realize how good he can be. Every time the Colombian steps on the pitch, he displays a massive amount of confidence in his abilities.
Because of his intangibles and skill set, Castillo would attract a decent amount of attention if he opted to leave for England.
Marcelo Sarvas may get turned away from some potential suitors in England because of his age, but the 33-year-old has enough talent to earn a starting role in the Premier League.
Sarvas, who was traded to Colorado on the day of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, formed a tremendous central midfield duo with Juninho over the last three years in Los Angeles.
Now that he has been forced off the Galaxy roster by the impending move for Steven Gerrard, Sarvas has a chance to prove his worth on an individual level.
If the first game of the season is any indicator, the midfielder will do quite well in front of the Colorado back four.
Sarvas has also displayed a knack for moving forward, as he has earned 19 assists since joining MLS in 2012.
As a player who can succeed on both sides of the pitch, Sarvas would be an enticing asset for some clubs if he were to leave the league.
One of the few Englishmen plying his trade in MLS is Sporting Kansas City forward Dom Dwyer.
The 24-year-old forward was one of the breakout stars of the 2014 season, as he found the back of the net on 22 occasions for Peter Vermes' side.
Dwyer's production came as no surprise to anyone who watched him on loan at Orlando City in 2013, as he netted 25 goals for the then-USL side before heading back to Kansas City.
With 47 goals to his name over the last two seasons, Dwyer would be a key asset for any team struggling to put goals on the scoreboard.
If he were scoring like this in the Premier League, Dwyer's name would be a part of the England roster discussion.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.