Can Owen Hargreaves Resurrect His Soccer Career in MLS?

Back in 2007, Owen Hargreaves was living the dream and things were going right for him. In his first seven years with Bayern Munich, Hargreaves had successfully become one of the best Canadian stars of the game. In his time in Germany, he was a contributor of four Bundesliga titles and a Champions League trophy in 2001. His form for England especially in the 2006 World Cup further proved how he had become an elite midfielder. The England international caught the eye of Sir Alex Ferguson which eventually led to Hargreaves being signed by Manchester United on May 31st, 2007 in a four year deal for £17 million. His first season was a major success as he was a central figure with United who won both the Premier League and the Champions League. The future looked quite bright for the 27 year old.

However, Owen Hargreaves would soon become victim to an interminable struggle with injuries largely related to patellar tendinitis. Though Hargreaves was determined to return, he was constantly hampered with setbacks in rehabilitation and training. Even renowned knee surgeon, Dr. Richard Steadman, who had successfully operated on English footballers like Alan Shearer or Michael Owen, could not end the chronic tendinitis in Hargreaves’ knee. It took Hargreaves over twenty months to make another appearance in the Premier League in May 2010. Hargreaves then missed the start of last year due to injury again but he returned to training within a couple of months. On November 6th, 2010, Owen Hargreaves was selected for his first start in over two years in a match against Wolves. However, his triumphant return was short-lived as he aggravated a hamstring injury and was withdrawn after only five minutes. With that, the tenure of Owen Hargreaves at Manchester United ended as he was unable to return again in the last year of his contract.

After his disappointing time at Old Trafford, the future of Hargreaves is unknown. While he has been linked with Everton, Arsenal and Liverpool, many have speculated that the new free agent would retire. However, there have been intriguing rumors indicating a possible move to MLS.

According to the Daily Mail and other publications, Toronto F.C. and the Vancouver Whitecaps are interested in going after the 30 year old in the hope of resurrecting his career. A major factor in this potential deal is that Owen Hargreaves was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada after his parents had emigrated over from the United Kingdom. Both clubs can offer Hargreaves the opportunity to end his career in his home country.

The rising status of American football may just entice the England star to end his career on a high note in North America. While Hargreaves is linked with English teams, one has to imagine that it would be incredibly difficult for him to receive consistent playing time after injury has sidelined him for nearly three years. While MLS has grown into a highly competitive league, it still needs time to grow for it to be on par with European leagues. Therefore, Hargreaves may see America’s potential to help him ease into and become a top player.

While he is a great injury risk, Toronto and Vancouver clearly see that Hargreaves can greatly impact their squads. He has always been known for his accurate passing, superb pace, and magnificent crosses. While injury may make him rusty, he will still remember the fundamentals of his game that made him an elite midfielder. In addition, his Canadian roots would make him a beloved figure for the fans as he could become the face of a team like Beckham and Henry are for the Galaxy and the Red Bulls respectively.

As a Manchester United fan, it was a bitter shame that Owen Hargreaves couldn’t have had a greater role at the club. He truly showed in his first season at the club that he would have been a sensational talent in the midfield which has been under constant criticism. However, there still may be a lot of football left in Owen Hargreaves which is why a move to MLS is an extremely sensible idea.

12 thoughts on “Can Owen Hargreaves Resurrect His Soccer Career in MLS?”

  1. I believe Dr Richard Steadman is based in Colorado. So maybe it would make sense for Hargreaves to join Colorado Rapids, since he is bound to spend most of his time in that city anyway.

    1. they have planes nowadays that can easily transport humans to different areas of a country or of the world. From Vancouver, its probably just a 2hour flight. Besides, the obvious reason why its Van & TFC who are going after him is so that he will count as a Canadian national player due to his dual citizenship. Same reason Rob Friend is being rumored to TFC

  2. Why the HELL would you want to sign a walking (limping) liability like this guy? I mean, I know you feel sorry for him and all, but….

    You spent the entire article highlighting all of the injury problems the guy has and then you say it might be a good idea to bring him to MLS??!!!

    Why? So we can pay him too much and then watch him take advantage of over paid doctors in the US after the under paid trainers in MLS fail to rehab him?


  3. If he manages to stay on the pitch long enough he’ll get booed off it by the turncoat haters over here.

  4. How does someone that is 30 “resurrect” a career that has been mared by injury for the past 4 years. I think it would be financially good idea for Owen but a financially bad idea for MLS. There is too much risk involved for MLS. If Owen gets hurt the ticket sales would go down for those road matchs that MLS thinks they would get because of his name thus loosing out on the $$ to pay his DP wage and the extra they think they would get to line the MLS owners pockets.

  5. To every person who says his move to the MLS isn’t good because he gets hurt, I feel you’re all wrong to dismiss him. Hargreaves was a top talent before and I think he can find himself again for Vancouver or Toronto. Athletes get hurt, that’s sports. I feel he should get another shot if he’s willing to move across the Atlantic. He has to be recovered by this point, and for the success of MLS in terms of moving ahead, I think the potential of Hargreaves is great.

  6. Like people mentioned above he is a liability because he is ALWAYS injured. First match he came back for United he gets injured in the opening minutes. Feel sorry yes but I you got to remember this is a business not a charity.

  7. Cant they just give him a contract filled with incentives? Or does the single entity not allow that? For some reason i think the answer is no, wouldnt spend Dp money on him but he is worth the risk at a lower price.

  8. He would be booed constantly in Toronto a la Teal Bunbury this season. I hate when he is referred to as CAnadian. He turned his back on us, we turned our on him. I hope another team in MLS signs him cause i will boo and taunt until my throat is sore if he ever returned to Toronto. Screw Whoregreaves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *