- Dec 1, 2000
The single player most responsible for changing European perspectives on MLS is Alphonso Davies. When it comes to the mega-clubs, this is the kind of player they’re scouting MLS for: the young, super-athletic prospect they can mold into a finished product. It’s not a source of starting XI impact signings (yet), but how many leagues outside the Big 5 are? It’s mostly stand-alone clubs in smaller leagues that have that reputation - Benfica, Ajax, etc.Ok, Matt Turner is a good example, but he has already left. He was also demonstrably the best GK in the league for several years running.
Who's in MLS right now who you'd bet to be similarly up for that task? I'm not implying there isn't anyone, I'm just not up on it enough to know the best candidates.
Duran ended the season so hot I knew European sides would be hovering. He is so talented and athletic but also so, so immature. Hendrickson played him in a supersub role the first month, but he picked up so many stupid cards (elbow to head, standing over a free kick in midfield, etc) that he rode the bench for the next 2 months. He did show much more composure when he was re-integrated into the squad, and then became near unstoppable as a hard pressing & counterattacking beast.Well, it's Everton chats, so we have no money and no points....
I agree with your larger point, mine being just that raising the idea of a transfer in from an MLS squad no longer gets an automatic snort. For example, Everton have been linked with 19 yo Colombian forward Jhon Duran, from Chicago Fire. Not too long ago there would have been reflexive "they should stick to baseball" etc.; now it's essentially like discussing a prospect from a second-tier European league. That's my modest point.
Chicago paid $2m for him, so there is a huge profit to realize. But most of Chicago’s playoff hopes rest on him continuing that late season form…so I’d love for Duran to have one more full season here before going to Europe.