Editorial (April 22, 2019) — It’s been said American soccer came of age in December 2018, when 73,000+ people attended the MLS Cup final in Atlanta. The truth is, the defining moment probably came the next month when Atlanta United sold Paraguayan star Miguel Almiron to English club Newcastle United for $27 million.
MLS players who are ready for the English Premier League
MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in 2018 that Major League Soccer “needs to be more of a selling league.” By this, he meant the MLS needs to develop top talent and sell to big European leagues, like the English Premier League. The Almiron sale, the most expensive ever for an MLS player, would surely have put a smile on Garber’s face.
Almiron has yet to fulfill his potential in the Premier League since joining Newcastle three months ago. However, that hasn’t stopped speculation about other big signings from the MLS, including Almiron’s former Atlanta teammate Josef Martinez.
Which MLS players are ready to make the leap to the English Premier League? We take a closer look at the top candidates.
Diego Rossi on the possibility of moving to Europe:
"It's still one of my dreams, but this destiny [joining LAFC] came out and I am very happy.
However, I hope to fulfill all my dreams pic.twitter.com/SGRJY22MBE
— Warriors of Uruguay (@UruguayanHeroes) April 17, 2019
Diego Rossi, Los Angeles FC
The Uruguayan forward has only just turned 21, but he’s already showing that he has the potential to match it with the best defenders in the EPL. Rossi has scored 18 goals in 38 games since joining Los Angeles FC from his first club in Uruguay. He’s sitting in equal second for goals scored in the 2019 MLS season, with six goals in total.
Judging by the betting odds, Rossi appears likely to continue his great form in front of goals in the MLS. We can recommend a free bet with no deposit offer from leading UK bookmakers, which are offering 9/4 for Rossi to be this year’s top MLS goalscorer
Josef Martinez, Atlanta United
We mentioned Martinez before and it’s worth taking another look at the Venezuelan sensation. Martinez smashed the MLS record for goals in a single season in 2018, with 31 goals across the regular season and playoffs. Clubs from the English Premier League as well as Spain’s La Liga and France’s Ligue 1 reportedly showed serious interest in Martinez last year.
Martinez and Atlanta have had slow starts to the 2019 MLS season. Despite slowing down in front of goal, Martinez is held in such high regard that he’s still paying 14/1 for the Major League Soccer top goalscorer award this year. Those odds put him equal with Wayne Rooney as the fifth-most likely player to top score this year.
Bill Hamid, DC United
English Premier League clubs have long loved American goalkeepers. The likes of Kasey Keller and Tim Howard played many years in England. If the English scouts are on their game, they should eventually bid for 28-year-old Bill Hamid, who has been a top MLS keeper for many years.
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) April 6, 2019
Andrew Carleton, Atlanta United
Looking ahead a few years, another Atlanta player with EPL potential is 18-year-old Andrew Carleton. The winger has represented US youth teams since the under-15s, and has already made 11 appearances for the Atlanta United first team. He scored his first goal in the big leagues in 2018 and looks set to be a star of the future.
Jefferson Savarino, Real Salt Lake
Venezuela has provided the MLS with some great players, the latest of which is 21-year-old Jefferson Savarino. The 5”7 forward has impressive speed, which he’s used to the benefit of Real Salt Lake in the MLS as well as the Venezuelan national team. It won’t be long before big English and European clubs make a bid for Savarino.