Clint Dempsey made the first list in 2012. Who will be next from it to play for MLS?
Many soccer experts would agree that Dempsey is world-class and in his prime, but he made it to MLS. Why and how? Well, 32 million will attract many of the world's best and it's his home country's club league in which he played in years ago.
Which brings the conversation to the number one player MLS teams should pursue and the four other main attractions. MLS pay what you have to in order to get these guys to sign.
1) Jozy Altidore is younger than Clint, but needs and deserves all the American accolades. Coming off a hat-trick Friendly and scoring more often in general, with the National team and his club team, Altidore would bring the same fire to MLS as Dempsey. Especially, if he could get paired up with another hotshot, like Dempsey is with Eddie Johnson. Would he possibly fit well with Kei Kamara or Graham Zusi of Sporting KC?
2) Ronaldinho is still beloved world wide and has be thought of when it comes to raising the profile of MLS. The Brazilian mid-fielder has left some of the spotlight behind but would be given a resurrection if he would sign with an MLS team. He's known as one of the players to move best with a ball without touching it and can strike with surprise. Portland could be a fun destination for him.
3) Giovani dos Santos made his biggest splash during Gold Cup 2011. The Mexican leftie is always dangerous and makes things happen with plenty of scoring and assists. His goal against the U.S. in that Gold Cup final still leaves fans breathless. Gio's name in MLS rumors comes up plenty and he could be a great fit in Texas with the Dynamo.
Before getting to numbers 4 and 5, it's worth mentioning a few names who didn't make the list, but should be thought of highly to be brought over.
National team stud player Michael Bradley should absolutely be an MLSer. Kaka hasn't done much recently, but would be a fun player to have in the League. Mario Balotelli would be a difficult player to deal with, injuries and attitude, but he could give a team some Major punch at the forward position. Also, Diego Forlan from Uruguay and Michael Ballack (says he is retired) from Germany would make a difference for a team and the League.
4) Didier Drogba has played in China since winning Champions League with Chelsea and now it seems it is his time to bring his show and talents stateside. This winning player would bring all elements of scoring and panache to MLS. Drogba may end up as David Beckham's first signing for the Miami franchise.
5) Herculez Gomez is finding form and goals for his Mexican club and for the U.S. National team. He needs to be in an MLS uniform. The name 'Herculez' has more marketing potential still to go. He would be great to see alongside Chris Wondolowski in San Jose.
Originally Published in 2013