Tuesday, March 2, 2021
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An increasingly silver MLS

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The Major League Soccer was created in 1993. As an obligation to organize the 1994 World Cup, soccer in the United States opted to build a league that will be a benchmark for years. In 1996 they kicked off and although it had always been a sideways glance for being land, 25 years later it can be said that it became one of the markets where more Argentine footballers compete. Because since the confirmation that Santiago Sosa leaves River to be reinforcement of Atlanta United, the number of national players in Yankee territory reached 40.

Columbus Crew was the last champion with Zelarayán as a figure. The 2021 season will begin in April.

In MLS 27 teams compete (one more than in the First Argentina) and there are no relegations because it is not contemplated in any field of American sport. And there, year after year, What at first was an exotic destination, today has become a very drinkable market. From those who arrived as figures to complete their careers or those who made their first weapons outside the country. Why 21 of those 40 that make up the list are 25 years old or younger. Yes, half. Young people looking for an economic take-off for their careers or even a previous step towards Europe.

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Sosa confirmed that he is leaving River

In 1996 there were six Argentines who were in the initial season: Diego So Señora (Dallas Burn), Cristian Da Silva (MetroStars), Alberto Naveda (New England), Mario Gori (DC United), Marcelo Carrera and Ricardo Iribarren (Columbus Crew). Today the number has multiplied so much that they even exceed the number of national footballers in the top leagues in Europe. Spain or Italy, historical references, were left behind in the sum with 30 and 28 Argentines, respectively. Not to mention England (nine), France (eight) or Germany (five). The only competition that brings together more compatriots outside of South America is Mexico, but not far behind: 46.

Alberto Naveda, one of the Argentine pioneers in the first MLS season in 1996 (AP).

Alberto Naveda, one of the Argentine pioneers in the first MLS season in 1996 (AP).

In this market, there were four who emigrated after the Maradona Cup. Lisandro López left his Racing to go to Atlanta United, the same destination as the youthful Sosa de River. Both novelties in the club that has the most Argentines (seven) and that also presents national DT: Gabriel Heinze. The others who arrive are Claudio Bravo from Banfield finalist for Portland Timbers and Joaquín Torres from Newell’s for CF Montreal. In addition, Mateo Bajamich returns to the Houston Dynamo after his loan to Instituto.

Heinze will also have his first out-of-country managerial experience at Atlanta United.

Heinze will also have his first out-of-country managerial experience at Atlanta United.

They are added to a list with illustrious surnames such as Gonzalo Higuaín in Inter Miami, Diego Valeri in Portland Timbers, Ezequiel Barco of Atlanta United, Maxi Moralez of New York City or Lucas Zelarayán, figure of the last champion, the Columbus Crew. At the same time, young people like Álvaro Barreal, Emanuel Maciel, Braian Galván or Tomás Conechny are looking for that role that they never had in Argentina. And besides Heinze, two other Argentine coaches complete the picture. The already known Matías Almeyda, who is one step away from leaving the San Jose Earthquakes to go to the Chilean national team and Hernán Losada. The 38-year-old former Independiente player will be the manager of DC United arriving since his success in Belgian football with Beerschot.

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Almeyda, very close to Chile

On April 3 the regular season will just begin, which will end on November 7. And on the 19th of that same month the playoffs will be played with the final on December 11. All planned for a tournament that will have the market open until May 4! and that it will continue to be a threat to Argentine soccer. Not to mention that in his last public appearance Lionel Messi surprised by saying that he would like to play and live the United States experience. Quietly, the list of 40 can be growing even more …

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Messi, the "Holy Grail" for MLS and its possible destinations

ALL ARGENTINANS IN THE MLS

ATLANTA UNITED
Franco Escobar
Eric Remedi
Fernando Meza
Ezequiel Barco
Marcelino Moreno
Lisandro Lopez
Santiago Sosa

Barco, 21, one of the jewels of the Yankee league (AP).

Barco, 21, one of the jewels of the Yankee league (AP).

CHICAGO FIRE
Ignacio Aliseda
Gastón Giménez (nationalized Paraguayan)

FC CINCINNATI
Álvaro Barreal

COLUMBUS CREW
Lucas Zelarayán
Milton valenzuela

The Chinese Zelarayán, figure of the Columbus champion in 2020 (AFP).

The Chinese Zelarayán, figure of the Columbus champion in 2020 (AFP).

DC UNITED
Yamil Asad

INTER MIAMI
Nicolas Figal
Gonzalo Higuain
Matias Pellegrini
Julian Carranza
Leandro González Pirez
Federico Higuain

Pipita Higuaín left Europe after 13 years to go to Inter Miami (AFP) in 2020.

Pipita Higuaín left Europe after 13 years to go to Inter Miami (AFP) in 2020.

CF MONTREAL (Name changed this year, before it was Montreal Impact)
Emanuel Maciel
Joaquin Torres

​NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
Gustavo Bou

Bou, key in the New England semifinalist of the previous tournament (REUTERS).

Bou, key in the New England semifinalist of the previous tournament (REUTERS).

NEW YORK CITY
Maxi Moralez
Valentin Castellanos

The former Racing and Vélez since 2017 is in the Yankee City (REUTERS).

The former Racing and Vélez since 2017 is in the Yankee City (REUTERS).

ORLANDO CITY
Rodrigo Schlegel

COLORADO RAPIDS
Braian Galvan

FC DALLAS
Franco Jara

Jara, another who has been standing out in that country for a while (AP).

Jara, another who has been standing out in that country for a while (AP).

HOUSTON DYNAMO
Matías Vera
Mateo Bajamich
Maxi Urruti

MINNESOTA UNITED
Emanuel Reynoso

It took very little time for Bebelo to become important at Minnesota (REUTERS).

It took very little time for Bebelo to become important at Minnesota (REUTERS).

PORTLAND TIMBERS
Diego Valeri
Sebastian White
Thomas Conechny
Claudio Bravo

Valeri and Blanco, already a historic duo and MLS winner in Portland (AP).

Valeri and Blanco, already a historic duo and MLS winner in Portland (AP).

REAL SALT LAKE
Pablo Ruiz

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
Cristian Espinoza
Daniel vega
Andres Rios

Espinoza earned his place in San José (AFP).

Espinoza earned his place in San José (AFP).

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS
Erik Godoy

Look also

San Pablo sold his jewel to MLS

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