Alexi Lalas MLS blog: Three USA prospects who could make it in the Premier
Welcome to MirrorFootball's new MLS blog, brought to you in conjunction with ESPN. Every Wednesday USA legend Alexi Lalas will be on hand to bring you the latest news from the States, and you'll also be able to watch the week's best goals and highlights...
The transfer window is wide open and teams all over the world are looking to buy and sell players. Everyone loves a bargain, even the rich, and there are deals to be had. So this week I'm gonna help you mine MLS for a few gems of American talent that I think have the potential to be successful in the Premier League.
In other words, who could be the next Clint Dempsey or Stuart Holden?
If a Premier League team is looking for quality at a bargain price, these are three MLS Yanks I'd consider.
On The Radar: Brek Shea
The 21-year-old FC Dallas forward has put together a stellar first half of the season scoring 9 goals and growing bolder with each passing week. His ability to turn, take on multiple players at speed and exploit spaces behind the defense is unique in MLS. At 6'3'', he's got good size and crosses the ball with purpose and direction. Plus, he looks like a cross between Limahl and Tin Tin.
Under The Radar: Sean Franklin
The 26 year-old LA Galaxy right-back is a speedy, consistent and tireless force. He's coming into his prime where his experience now matches his athletic ability. He's spent much of the last few years covering for David Beckham out wide, and while he won't dazzle going forward, he'll lock down the defense and give advance players more freedom and confidence to attack.
Off The Radar: Danny Mwanga
The 20-year-old Philadelphia Union forward is a pure attacking soccer talent. He grew up in the Congo before migrating to the U.S. as a teenager and he has strength, speed and a deceptively soft touch in tight spaces. He's raw and still developing, but he's headed in the right direction. That he's not a regular starter for the Union makes him possibly the best kept secret in MLS.
The whole world is searching for diamonds in the rough, but often they're left with cubic zirconia. I'm not saying that these players can start for Manchester United, but there is some quality over here, both known and unknown. With MLS, you might not get the pretty box, but the diamonds are real and can often cost a lot less.
Alexi Lalas is a lead football analyst for ESPN - the live and exclusive broadcaster of Major League Soccer in the UK. ESPN will broadcast live and exclusive coverage of the Emirates Cup this weekend, featuring the New York Red Bulls, Paris St Germain, Boca Juniors and Arsenal. ESPN and ESPN America are the home of major sports from the US, including NBA, MLB, NHL, NFL Monday Night Football, and NCAA US college sports. For details visit www.espn.co.uk/tv