At a World Cup won in stunning fashion by the dynamic and young German team, it was another German who made many of the headlines throughout the tournament. USA manager Jurgen Klinsmann guided his side to an impressive yet somewhat disappointing exit at the Round of 16 stage of the tournament. Not much was expected of the Americans, having been drawn in Group G alongside Germany, Portugal and Ghana. With a squad made up of numerous MLS players, the USA side played some electric and free flowing football at times – something which Ghana succumbed to and Portugal could only manage a last gasp draw against. Major League Soccer, seen by many as a retirement home for previously world class players throughout Europe, has shown on the biggest stage that it deserves more respect throughout the footballing world. As a result, we have selected 5 MLS players who could be a hit in the Premier League.
Potential Destinations: Everton, Southampton, Newcastle
Although USA’s star Midfielder Michael Bradley didn’t have as stand out a World Cup as was expected of him, he made many new fans during the tournament. Bradley’s tireless running and pinpoint passing was key in the USA’s counter attacking style that brought such success against the likes of Ghana and Portugal in the group stage of the tournament. Eyebrows were raised when Bradley left Serie A high flyers Roma for Toronto FC in January 2014. Michael’s father and former USA manager Bob Bradley later revealed that a deal was on the table for his son to join Arsenal, but the London based team instead decided to take Kim Kallstrom due to what Bradley Sr thought was based on his nationality. Bradley’s best game of the World Cup came in what turned out USA’s final game against Belgium where he almost guided a spectacular extra time comeback. Sadly we did not see the best of him in Brazil, but I believe that Bradley is too talented to be playing in MLS at this stage of his career.
Potential Destinations: Liverpool, Spurs, West Ham
The United States may not have won the World Cup, but 21 Year Old Right Back DeAndre Yedlin must feel like he did. Eyebrows were raised initially upon Yedlin’s inclusion in the 23 man squad, but he impressed immensely in the three substitute appearances he made in Brazil. Despite defeat, Yedlin’s incredible stamina coupled with his blistering pace caused Belgium a world of problems in the Round of 16 match. Since that game, rumours of interest from the likes of Roma, Liverpool and Bayern Munich have flooded in. While it may be a risk moving to Europe with such little experience under his belt, many teams would happily pay the £3m fee that Seattle Sounders are rumoured to be waiting for.
Potential Destinations: QPR, Sunderland, West Brom
Many believed that Jermain Defoe was making a mistake moving to MLS at only 31. The well travelled Striker has scored a total of 125 Premier League goals between West Ham, Spurs and Portsmouth, and looked in line to make Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad before making the move. 6 Goal in 7 games has displayed that Defoe still has the clinical instincts of the top striker he was in England. While Defoe may not want to give up the new relaxed lifestyle of Toronto, Premier League teams could do much worse than to take Defoe back.
Potential Destinations: Southampton, Crystal Palace
USA Captain and leader Clint Dempsey certainly led by example in Brazil. Dempsey scored the fifth fastest goal in World Cup history only 30 seconds into USA’s Group G opener against Ghana, and in turn became the first American player to score in three consecutive World Cups. Despite his versatility being utilised in the past, Jurgen Klinsmann has played Dempsey consistently in the lone Striker role, and has been rewarded by his superb hold up play and of course sharp finishing. Dempsey was right at the heart of the special campaign for the US side, and would still make a good signing for a Premier League side I believe.
Potential Destinations: Stoke City, West Brom, Burnley
Two weeks before the final 23 was announced by US manager Jurgen Klinsmann, Omar Gonzalez feared that he may miss the whole tournament with a knee injury suffered in an MLS game against Colorado Rapids. However, despite missing the first game against Ghana, Gonzalez was ready to come off the bench against Portugal in game two to make his World Cup debut. The giant Texan’s impressive showings week in week out for La Galaxy lead to speculation that he was set to move to Mexican giants Club America, and further performances against Germany and Belgium have stretched interest as far as the Premier League reportedly. 25 would be a good age to make the jump to Europe, and a move to Stoke could see him link up with International teammates Brek Shea, Geoff Cameron and Maurice Edu