With Major League Soccer on the rise, and key American stars such as Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley heading back home to play their football, we take a look at five players that should follow suit this summer.
The national team will only improve if the majority of players are based in the US, and a certain playing style will be seen throughout the team as a result. The following five players should look to make the move to MLS this summer:
1. Jozy Altidore
The 24-year-old striker started his career in MLS after he was drafted by the New York Metrostars (now Red Bulls) with the seventeenth pick in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft. He moved to Europe in 2008 as an 18-year-old to Spanish side Villarreal but never managed to fulfil his potential, and couldn’t shine in loan spells at Xerez, Hull City and Bursaspor either.
After two very impressive seasons with AZ Alkmaar, he made the move to Sunderland last summer, but scored just one league goal in 30 appearances at the Stadium of Light last season, and a move back to MLS could turn his career around. He would get the respect from national press and fans alike, and would be able to score goals in a league that’s rapidly becoming more recognised around the world. The move could save his career from dwindling into unfulfilled potential.
2. DaMarcus Beasley
Beasley is another who started in MLS before moving to Europe, after five seasons with Chicago Fire from 2000-2004. The 32-year-old played all across Europe and was the first American to play in the UEFA Champions League, when he played for PSV. He moved to Mexico to play for Puebla in 2011, and looks set for a return to US soccer this summer.
There will be shortage of interested parties for the experienced winger, who also plays at left-back now, and the former-Manchester City man is thought to want a move back to MLS after the World Cup.
3. Alejandro Bedoya
Bedoya has never played in MLS, but is a part of the USMNT 23-man squad for the World Cup, and a move to Major League Soccer would only boost his career. He is currently playing for French club Nantes, after moving there last summer, and enjoyed a good season by scoring six goals in 32 appearances in all competitions.
Though if an offer arrives from MLS, the 27-year-old would be wise to make the switch and enhance both his and US soccer’s image across the globe. He plays primarily as an attacking midfielder but is often used out wide as well, and that is where we are likely to see him deployed by Jurgen Klinsmann in Brazil.
4. Mix Diskerud
Norwegian-born, Mix Diskerud chose to play for the United States in 2010 and has made 18 appearances for the USMNT since then. He scored in the friendly against Azerbaijan earlier this week, and will wear the No. 10 shirt formerly worn by Landon Donovan at the World Cup. Diskerud has not played in MLS, but came close in 2012, when a move to the Portland Timbers broke down due to a disagreement over MLS transfer policies.
He remained with his current club Rosenborg in Norway, but at just 23 could make the move to MLS and enhance his career. The central midfielder would be playing a better standard of football in the US, in a league filling up with global stars by the year. After several weeks with the USMNT, Diskerud might just want to make the switch come the end of the World Cup.
5. Jermaine Jones
The 32-year-old is another who has yet to play in MLS, but a move this summer would be the perfect time to make the switch. Jones is currently playing for Turkish side Besiktas, after many years in Germany as well as a loan spell with Blackburn Rovers. The defensive midfielder would get into most sides in the league, and despite only joining Besiktas in January has a contract that expires at the end of June.
Jones has already said that he almost moved to MLS before making the switch to Turkey earlier in the year, and could be set for the move this summer, after the World Cup.
How many of these USMNT stars do you see making the move to MLS?