2017 was a banner year for transfers in MLS. Behind the leadership of Atlanta United, teams are starting to realize that they don’t need to spend millions of dollars on average players. With the additions of Miguel Almiron, Josef Martinez, Pedro Santos, and Victor Vasquez, we saw some incredibly talented players added to the league.
It’s a change that has been a long time coming in MLS. For the most part, fans are starting to rally around players not because they watched them in the Champions League a few years’ prior, but because they’re young, exciting, and fit the localized demographics of an area, In the process, they’re helping to create ties to clubs, put fans in seats, and most importantly make money. Leagues and identities thrive on these real, emotional connections to players, teams,and cultures. This isn’t some sort of secret knowledge that a gimmicky marketing campaign, or former Bayern star could instantly fix. And there are still incredibly talented bargains out there in the world— they just might not be part of the GM’s cable package. It can be frustrating to watch at times (Reto Zeigler?). The world is full of undervalued markets. Athletes want to live in a country like the United States. Most importantly, MLS is at the stage where affordable, above-average players can come in and make an immediate impact (Lodiero, Alessandrini, Rusnak). So the goal of this shortlist is to look at players we think can change the course of the league. MLS is simply not going to be one of the best leagues in the world. That’s fine. We aren’t going to have top international players. Also ok. So the real question we should be asking is this— can it be the best peripheral league? Minus a few high-profile, affordable signings, this idea is the thesis of our shortlist.
Here at EIF, we have a team of soccer guys. We’re a mix of economists, liberal arts students, former academy players, and even team employees. But the one thing we have in common is that we watch and enjoy the game across the world. While we might not have ten years of business experience, or glittering playing careers, we can all agree that this market holds potential for those that look at things a bit differently. So while this is a fan project, it’s also self-serving in nature. We know that we while might not do better job than your team’s front office; we’ll at least be continuing the conversation in a different manner (hire us).
Our EIFScouts 2017 MLS Transfer shortlist breaks down a list of players we think could realistically move to MLS this window, or this summer, and make an immediate impact. We will be releasing different regions of the world every few days.
Most importantly, we believe in listening. We’re not arrogant enough to pretend we watch every second of every game. But we want to hear feedback from those that have seen our players. The United States is full of bright soccer minds. Do you believe that our transfers are realistic? Could these players succeed? Did we miss a top talent?
It’s a discussion we’re excited to host. Instead of sitting back and appreciating that MLS has one Giovinco, why aren’t we asking, and looking for more?
So without further ado,
EIFScouts 2017 MLS transfer shortlist.
(Seriously Hire Us)
UK/Ireland by Ryan Huettel
Spain/Portugal by Ryan Huettel
Netherlands/Scandinavia by Alex Dieker
Coordinated/Written by Ryan Huettel
Additional Contributions by Alex Dieker
Cover Image- FantasyMLSHelper/Reddit