The Top Eight Foreign Players in MLS
Guevara has accomplished more than just about any current MLS player in this league
Inspired by our buddy Martin Rogers list of the top players overall in MLS, we’ve come up with a list of the top eight non US or Canadian players in MLS. This is based on MLS performance combined with some historical perspective on national team duty. Performance in other leagues was not considered.
1- Amado Guevara, Toronto FC
Guevara has been one of the best players in CONCACAF over the past eight years for Honduras and also when not fighting with his coaches and team mates the best player in MLS. As I said a year ago when Preki dumped him, not a single player in MLS would I take over him, and that applies again this season.
2- Shalrie Joseph, New England
This is a pick with an asterisk because Joseph is in many ways more American than many guys who have played for our national team. But Joseph plays for Greneda so he makes this least. Fierce in organizing the midfield, a tenacious ball winner and dangerous going forward, Joseph is one of the biggest reasons the Revs have been so good for so long.
3- Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Columbus
The Boca Juniors legend is writing a new page in his footballing history in Columbus. Schelotto has a talent few others have to make those around him that much better.
4- Cuauhtemoc Blanco, Chicago
Such a hate-able player for Mexico and Club America has become the sporting face of MLS. Besides his game isn’t that bad either. Blanco makes all his team mates better and for that he comes in near the top of this list.
5- Christian Gomez, Colorado
For a player without a national team call up, Gomez found his niche early in MLS. This league is unique to any other league in the world and it is tough to understand for some why national team stars flop here while uncapped players excel. Gomez fits this league like a glove.
6- Carlos Ruiz, LA Galaxy
He’s done nothing but score goals in MLS. Quick to the ground and quick to whine he like Blanco is tough to like. But his game speaks for itself and he’ll give the Galaxy a huge boost when he returns.
7- David Beckham, LA Galaxy
Despite the hullabaloo about the “Beckham effect,” it has been a mostly off the field phenomena. Beckham needs good players around him to excel and in MLS no team has enough good players for Beckham to have the impact he did with Man United or Real Madrid. (Especially the LA Galaxy who have less serviceable players than any team in either the Mexican top flight or MLS) He can turn in a moment of brilliance and if this league was of a better quality he’d be #1 on this list because nobody on the planet can do what he can, but in MLS his talent is largely wasted.
8- Juan Pablo Angel, NY Red Bulls
Angel’s international career with Columbia was a bust but his performances on the club level have been fairly respectable. Still Angel needs a striker to play off of as was the case at Aston Villa. Jozy Altidore despite the hype, isn’t that player just yet. He will be soon enough but one assumes by the time he’s there he’ll be plying his trade in Europe.
Honorable Mention: Laurent Robert, Toronto FC, Juan Toja, FC Dallas, Dave Van Den Bergh, Red Bulls, Gonzalo Martinez, DC United, Carl Robinson, Toronto FC, Gonzalo Segaras, Chicago, Kenny Deuchar, Real Salt Lake.