Well, it seems that Steven Gerrard is on the tip of everyone's tongues with transfer rumors galore, now that the Liverpool legend will be leaving his old club at the end of the season. After all of the hoopla surrounding him most likely coming to MLS, it got me thinking about some of the other English Premier League players who might be likely candidates to try to make the move over to America.
First off, yes I am a Chelsea fan and yes, I have been a fan of Drogba's since I can remember watching my first Chelsea game back in 2005. I would thoroughly enjoy seeing him playing over here in the United States and he has been connected with MLS multiple times in his career. I'm not sure how much he still has in the tank after he finishes up this season with the Blues, being 36 years old and having his best years behind him. Not only that, but there are recent reports that he may retire after this year. However, since these rumors will probably never die, it's still an intriguing thought that if the right buyer comes along, he could be swayed.
Before anyone starts, yes I do realize that Terry is widely hated amongst the soccer community for "certain things" he has done on and off the field. Even so, Terry coming to the MLS is a definite possibility. He's 34 years old, a former England captain, multiple championship winner, a still very capable defender and his contract expires this summer. He's spent his entire career with Chelsea, but as always, money talks. I could see one of the big market teams make a bid for him, but it may depend on the overall fan reaction of his name being linked with their club.
Another former England National team defender, Ferdinand has been circling MLS rumor mills for the past year, ever since he left Manchester United. With his play at Queens Park Rangers faltering, the 36-year-old my try and cash out while he still has some game left. It's also possible that, if Miami's team ever gets off the ground, he could be one of their first Designated Players. At least, that's what David Beckham wants.
The older brother of New York Red Bulls star striker Bradley Wright-Phillips has already said that he would like to play in MLS with his brother in the next few years. His contract with QPR ends this summer and the 32-year-old is struggling to get into the lineup this year. This would make the perfect opportunity for an MLS club to offer him another few years extension on his playing career. If he were to team up with his brother over in New York, they would make quite the pairing.
This Cameroonian star was linked to many MLS clubs, including Orlando City SC, during this past summer when he was without a team during the World Cup. Although he ended up signing with Everton, the rumors never seem to die. His contract with the club ends in two years and by that time Eto'o will be 35 years old. Even so, he is playing fairly well for Everton this year, and he could still be a valuable asset for an MLS club in 2017, maybe even the new LA franchise.
Ah, yes good old Joe Cole. The former English international was rumored this past summer to join Orlando, along with Robinho, and we all know how that ended up. Now Cole is trying to prove that he can still play in the Premier League, although he isn't quite doing so, mainly due to injuries. When he realizes he can't cut it anymore in England, he may come over to America and see who is the highest bidder.
Now here's a player that is intriguing, especially for Orlando. Crouch, who seems like he's been playing in England for two decades (and he almost has), has been in the Premier League since 1998. Since he came into the league with Tottenham, he's jumped between eight different clubs over the years, most recently with Stoke City. Stoke is synonymous with Orlando City owner Phil Rawlins, since he used to be a minority owner in the club. Crouch is also finishing up the final year of his contract, and at only 33, still has a lot of game left in the tank. Another fun tidbit: Crouch was signed to Stoke when Tony Pulis, father of former player and current academy coach Anthony Pulis, was the manager of the Potters. The signs seem to point to Orlando as a possible destination for him in MLS, but time will tell.
Now comes the million dollar question for all Orlando City SC fans: Out of any of these players, would you like to see any of these players don the purple and gold uniform of the Lions?