Major League Soccer Weekend Roundup: Injuries and More
We’re through another weekend of Major League Soccer, and outside of the weekend results there is a lot to talk about. We could have players moving from the Premier League to MLS, we have one of the youngest signings in the sport, and there is news that team bosses are calling for a promotion and relegation system in MLS, similar to what currently exists in the English Premier League and other tournaments.This is the most noteworthy news from the weekend and previous week, that any fan or bettor will want to know.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Could Move to Major League Soccer
Veteran player Zlatan Ibrahimovic has excited soccer fans with a recent admission that he could move to Major League Soccer in the later stages of his career. Zlatan has had extensive experience in professional football, and has played for some of the world’s most revered clubs. From 2012 to 2016 he was one of Paris Saint-Germain’s best players, scoring 113 league goals from 122 appearances. For the 2016 – 2017 season he joined Manchester United, playing 28 games in the Premier League and scoring 17 goals. He has also played in the past for Barcelona and Juventus, and has represented the Sweden national team since 2001. In his international career he has played 116 games and scored 62 goals.At 35 years of age Zlatan is not at the end of his career, but he will be wanting to think about where to start winding down, and a position in MLS could be exactly the place that he needs to be. Ranked as one of the best players in the world and as one of the best strikers in history, he would be an excellent addition to MLS, and could bring new fans and increased pedigree to the sport. Recent news from ESPN has revealed that Los Angeles FC and LA Galaxy have approached Ibrahimovic about a potential move to MLS. While he still has a remaining obligation to Manchester United, he’s not ruling out for the future. When interviewed by ESPN, he admitted “I think there is a big chance of me going to Major League Soccer. But like I said, I’m not done yet.” This indicates that a future move is planned, but that he maybe doesn’t see an end to his European career in the immediate future. He continued, saying that “We had a couple of teams. I mean there was couple of teams reaching out, wanted ‘Ibra Kadabra’ in their team, but I had such a great year with United. We had a great year, we won three trophies. Fantastic guys, great club, and a coach that I ‘ve known from before. I was happy. It’s not always about the sporting thing. You can choose when you sign for a club and I’m in a situation where I have to think 360 degrees around me. Everybody is happy about this and I’m super happy. Happiness has no value and this year I play for free, just like last year.”Major League Soccer is sometimes seen negatively as a league where professional European footballers can go to finish off their careers. With Ibrahimovic still being one of the best in the sport, a move by him at this stage of his career could help to bring relevancy to a league that has struggled for popularity outside of its domestic audience.
Sporting Kansas City Signs One of the Youngest Players in History
In the history of MLS, the youngest player ever signed was 14-year-old Freddy Adu, when he signed with D.C. United back in 2004. Managers and coaches in MLS are extremely keen on bringing up new home grown talent, and as the popularity of football, or soccer as it is known locally, has grown, so too has the young talent that is available to teams. This is evident in the most recent young player signing, with Sporting Kansas City giving a contract to Gianluca Busio, a forward who is just 15 years of age. Busio is a native of Greensboro, North Carolina. Speaking to the media after the contract announcement, he told them that “Since I was a kid, I always dreamed of being a professional soccer player. From the day I arrived in Kansas City, they have made me feel like part of the family.”Busio has already shown plenty of promise and has even had his share of early success. He has played for Sporting Kansas City’s under-18 team, and even scored a goal in a season final. Sporting Kansas City wasn’t the only team to show interest in the young player. There were clubs in the Premier League who were interested in signing and developing him, but Busio ultimately decided to stay at home, providing a definite boost to the grassroots soccer program that is continuously being developed in the United States. Sporting Kansas City’s manager, Peter Vermes, told reporters that “Gianluca is a very talented player who has the opportunity to progress along our professional pathway from the academy to the first team. He fits our style of play, has great vision on the field and can score goals from several different positions.”It’s great news and a great opportunity for Busio, especially considering that the last young player signed by the team, Erik Palmer-Brown, was ready to debut in the senior team after only nine months of development. Busio has great potential and will be an important player for anyone to watch as they predict the future stars in MLS.
Would Promotion and Relegation Work in MLS?
Coach of the New York Red Bulls, Jesse Marsch, has revealed to media that he supports the introduction of a promotion and relegation system in MLS. If such a change were to occur, it would vastly alter the dynamic of betting in the league. The sport currently runs on a closed system that has been criticized by many. Lower-division clubs are locked where they are, and opening up a promotion and relegation system could make competition stronger throughout MLS and the lower leagues. Jesse Marsch told that media that “I would like to see promotion-relegation, because I think it just raises the stakes and gives so much hope to some of those smaller clubs.”Although there’s no evidence that a promotion and relegation system is even being considered by Major League Soccer, a growing number of fans and insiders have come out as being in support of a system that is more closely aligned with the European leagues.
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