Jeff Rueter

Author's posts

Jan 17

Meet Jon Bakero: the MLS SuperDraft prospect with ties to Johan Cruyff

The son of longtime Spanish international José Mari Bakero is one of the most intriguing prospects heading into Friday’s MLS SuperDraftIt isn’t common practice for the son of a World Cup starter to enter the MLS SuperDraft.Once seen as a vital way to a…

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Oct 19

Was MLS really to blame for USA’s World Cup failure?

MLS and the USMNT have helped each other out down the years. But the domestic league deserves at least some time under the microscopeA full week has passed since a dreadful 90 minutes took the USA from part of the World Cup furniture to tournament spec…

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Sep 12

The anti-Beckhams: the UK footballers choosing to start their careers in the US

MLS has long been derided as a retirement home for aging stars. But some young English players are choosing to kickstart their careers in the States

Over the last decade, Major League Soccer has attracted its fair share of British footballers. Since the league’s watershed moment with David Beckham’s acquisition, the likes of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Jermain Defoe and Ashley Cole have taken their talents to North America.

Of course, they all had one thing in common: their careers were in their twilight years when they made the move to MLS. It took a few years for Beckham’s superstar sheen to settle down enough for him to play quality football. Gerrard struggled to adapt to the league after his love affair with Liverpool. Lampard notoriously had his New York City FC debut delayed by over six months due to a stint with Manchester City and nagging injuries. Defoe arrived over the age of 30 and didn’t stick around long, while Cole had declined a previous LA Galaxy offer, saying that he wasn’t “ready to relax on a beach yet.”

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May 25

How MLS clubs are undervaluing prospects from the US lower divisions

Could homegrown imports like Minnesota United’s Christian Ramirez help MLS get over its reluctance to mine talent from the NASL and USL?

Every season, Major League Soccer has a crop of breakout players who are new to the league – this year we have Atlanta’s Josef Martínez (the Venezuelan who scored five goals in his first three matches – after netting just seven in three years with Turin). The best of these players often come from Europe or South America and immediately become key starters.

This year, there have been more examples of domestic players moving from the US lower divisions and succeeding in MLS than any year in recent memory. New York Red Bulls center back Aaron Long made his MLS debut in March and has started 13 matches for a potential MLS Cup contender. Meanwhile, expansion side Minnesota United has gotten crucial minutes from NASL domestic holdovers Christian Ramirez and Brent Kallman. Impressively, Ramirez has seven goals in his first 12 MLS matches, three off the Golden Boot pace.

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