Footballers who made a move to MLS in 2018

5) Ezequiel Barco (Atlanta United)

Coming off from the back of a hugely successful season with Independiente, Barco became MLS’ most expensive acquisition till date, with Atlanta having paid 15 million for his services. The attacking midfielder impressed with Independiente last season, scoring a crucial goal against Flamengo helping Independiente will only their second Copa Sudamericana in 2017. Still 19, the move might come off as a surprise to many given that Barco possesses all the characteristics to succeed in Europe. However, in Atlanta, Barco joins an ambitious squad, which reached the playoffs in their very first season.  Alongside several other South Americans, Barco will have the right environment to develop.

 

4) SaphirTaider (Montreal Impact)

While not exactly the kind of marquee signing Montreal would have been looking forward to, Taider will bring the much needed steel to the side which failed to make it to the playoffs last season. Since Drogba’s departure, Montreal have failed to reach the same heights. In Taider though, they now have a gifted midfielder with loads of experience having featured in more than 150 games in Serie A. Moreover, Taider was a part of the impressive Algerian side that lost out to Germany in the extra time in last world cup. Still 26, Taider will likely prove an astute signing by former Lyon boss, RemiGarde.

 

3) Felipe Gutierrez (Sporting Kansas City)

The Chilean signed with Kansas City this season putting an end to a torrid time at Real Betis. Having spent the majority of his career in Netherlands with FC Twente, Gutierrez failed to find his feet in La Liga for Real Betis. The midfielder also missed the Copa America 2016 with a knee injury, which has somewhat halted his fine potential. Having featured for Chile in the world cup, Gutierrez will look to settle down in Kansas City, having signed a three-year deal with the two-time MLS Champions.

 

2) Gregory Van Der Wiel (Toronto FC)

Former Ajax defender, Van Der Wiel has experienced a downslide in his career in last few seasons. He enjoyed massive success with PSG in France, having won 4 Ligue 1 titles in Parc De Paris. However, PSG’s ambition got the better of him as he was soon let go off with the club bringing in Thomas Muenier and Serge Aurier. He signed with Fenerbahce though soon left Turkey to play in Italy for Caligiari. Last season, the defender could only feature in six games due to injuries. Now at Toronto, Van Der Wiel will be hoping to put his injury struggles behind him and enjoy a decent spell with the reigning MLS Champions.

 

1) Carlos Vela (Los Angeles FC)

The ever-present Mexican has been around for so long, that some might just think that he must be in his late 30s. Instead, the winger is now in his prime age of 28, and has just moved to MLS. The former Gunner has had his injury problems over the years, which primarily remains the reason why he has not fulfilled his potential. At Real Sociedad though, Vela proved time and time again why he was so sought after. In six seasons, he became Sociedad’s talisman scoring 73 goals. He was even linked with a move back to England. Still 28, and with a wealth of experience, Vela will unquestionably prove a huge asset for the MLS newcomers, Los Angeles FC