The 2019 Major League Soccer season is devoid of some of its biggest stars over the last few years. The likes of Alphonso Davies, Miguel Almiron, and David Villa have all left the league during the offseason. With the trio of players gone, it leaves a gap in the star-name power in the league. MLS teams can be followed during the term at https://williamcode.co.uk/ where great information on the teams can be found.
Despite high-quality talent exiting MLS, there are still a number of named players and rising stars in the league. The league’s 24th season will give these players a platform to truly showcase their skills for the world to see.
5. Marco Fabian – Philadelphia Union
Marco Fabian joined Philadelphia Union from Germany’s Eintracht Frankfurt in the offseason. He is now tasked with getting the Union back into the playoffs and unlocking opponents’ defences. Union fans can click here to find out about the latest promos for the MLS season.
The Mexican international should be a big hit with fans in the City of Brotherly Love. They will especially love him if he can combine with speedster David Accam.
4. Alejandro Pozuelo – Toronto FC
Alejandro Pozuelo has the unenviable task of replacing two Toronto FC players fans didn’t want the club to sell. Sebastian Giovinco and Victor Vazquez both exited the club in the offseason. Now, Pozuelo must pick up the slack and help TFC return to the playoffs after an awful 2018 MLS season.
The attacking midfielder arrives on a four and a half year, $4.5 million a year contract. It isn’t chump change in MLS. Most recently, Pozuelo has been playing for Belgium’s Genk. In 175 matches for the Belgians, he has tallied 25 goals and 60 assists.
3. Bradley Wright-Phillips – New York Red Bulls
MLS has allowed certain players who never reached their potential in Europe to succeed. Bradley Wright-Phillips is one of those players. He is arguably the greatest striker in MLS history. He is also potentially the greatest designated player signing in the league’s history.
Since arriving in 2013, the striker has led the Red Bulls to three Supporters’ Shield trophies, won two golden boot awards, and is a two-time MLS Best XI player.
His contract will end after the 2019 season. By that time, he will be 34 and may opt for retirement. Regardless, he has been an utter success and has done more for the Red Bulls than Thierry Henry did during his time at the club. Who would have ever thought that? The striker has scored 124 goals in 213 games for New York.
Although Wright-Phillips is still playing for New York Red Bulls, his No. 99 has been retired by the club.
2. Josef Martinez – Atlanta United
Josef Martinez went from scoring seven goals in 58 career games for Italy’s Torino to tallying 50 in 54 games for Atlanta United.
Last season, Martinez bagged a league high 31 as he powered Atlanta to an MLS Cup triumph. Martinez won the MLS Most Valuable Player award and the MLS Cup MVP trophy.
Big things are expected, but with a new manager (Frank De Boer) and without his leading assist man (Miguel Almiron), there is potential for regression.
1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – LA Galaxy
There is no MLS player bigger than Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He made the LA Galaxy infinitely better when he joined them in 2018. But the team relied far too much on Ibrahimovic to score goals and carry them to the postseason. The 37-year-old tallied 22 goals in 27 matches.
This season, his big ego will need to work alongside the ego of former Boca Juniors manager Guillermo Barros Schelotto. The Argentine took over the club in the offseason.