Friday, February 7, 2014

Pelotas' Ponderings: MLS sked favorable for more super signings?

Can the league's spring-to-fall campaign attract more players in a WC year? 

There's no doubt the reasonings behind Julio Cesar's reported interest of a loan to the ever-increasingly glamorous Toronto FC (never thought anyone would write that!) is playing time--especially in a World Cup year. In his native Brazil.

The veteran keeper has fallen out of favor on ol' 'arry Redknapp's Queens Park Rangers side but, at the same time, his hefty wages have been weighing on the club's books. Surprisingly, no other team has come in to swoop the 34-year-old Brazilian.

There's been talk of teams in South America looking to engage his services, specifically participating camps in South America' prestigious Copa Libertadores tournament. Recent reports had him in advanced negotiations with Gremio but that was shot down pretty fast by club officials. Money, again, was an issue.

If the Toronto interest is true, Major League Soccer may have just realized that it could be chipping at a gold mine in its strategy to bring over blockbuster signings in their prime. Their spring-to-fall schedule may benefit the league short- and long-term. It's been analyzed and written that MLS will eventually be able to compete with the world's leagues for some of the game's best players. But did anyone think that the league could attract some now? Can MLS scramble and grab a few top names before the competition? Would it be possible for Euro 2016 and Russia 2018?

The U.S. national team's domestic players will have a nice advantage of being in-season form ahead of the World Cup this year while most of the globe's seasons conclude about two months before the tournament. With Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley all in MLS until Jurgen Klinsmann comes calling them to camp, will these players provide momentum for their difficult group matches?

Julio Cesar may have just found the spark he needs to add to his 77 caps with the national team, which  is under immense pressure to lift its sixth trophy on its home soil. Continuous play and aerial challenges against physical MLS sides could just be what 'Big Phil' Scolari is counting on to complete his puzzle come June.