USMNT: How Does the Recent MLS Exodus to Liga MX Affect U.S. Soccer?

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at Internationaled.org

Published: January 6, 2016

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Liga MX will have a distinct American flavor in 2016 and fans of the U.S. men's national team should pay attention. 

Jorge Villafana, Omar Gonzalez, and Luis Gil could make their Liga MX debuts this weekend, along with Brazilian midfielder Juninho (Club Tijuana), after moving from MLS in December. 

These players, especially the Americans, may be taking a risk. However, it’s a necessary gamble that can benefit the USMNT in a variety of ways.

Liga MX is a stronger league than MLS thanks in large part to its wealth, which ESPN’s Taylor Twellman pointed out:



Not only are the teams superior, a select few compete in the Copa Libertadores, South America's premier continental competition.

This means that American players will test themselves at a higher level. If they succeed, they’ll likely be monitored by U.S. coaches and called up to the squad.

However, the three Americans who recently transferred to Mexico are in different situations as their debuts loom.

In the case of Villafana, his stock has never been higher, per American Soccer Now’s Brian Sciaretta. He’s coming off an MLS Cup-winning season with the Portland Timbers where he solidified himself as one of the league's best left-backs in 2015.



The Santos Laguna defender may also be called up for the USMNT camp in January. Considering the lack of depth at full-back, Villafana could become a starter for the U.S. in 2016.

Gil, on the other hand, simply lacked playing time with Real Salt Lake. He appeared in their first 13 games of 2015, but he made little impact in those matches and was rotated in and out of the lineup for the rest of the season.

A change of scenery is probably the best decision for Gil. Former RSL teammate Carlos Salcedo was experiencing the same problems, so he secured a move to Chivas and his success has garnered...
Article Source: Bleacher Report - International Football

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