FutbolMLS.com Digest: Venezuela star Juan Arango to MLS? Last stop for Cuauhtemoc Blanco?
FutbolMLS.com is the go-to source for Spanish-language coverage of MLS and the upcoming World Cup, and every Friday we will be bringing you an English-language digest of the best content they have to offer.
1. NORTH AMERICAN DREAM: One of the top summer transfers in MLS this year could well be a player that didn’t make it close to the World Cup.
In the German newspaper Rheinische Post, Venezuelan midfielder Juan Arango revealed he will be leaving his current club, Borussia Mönchengladbach of the Bundesliga, after five years at the end of the 2013-14 season.
For a player of Arango’s caliber, the discussion naturally now moves towards where the playmaker will ply his trade next, and according to sources close to the player, that will be the Liga MX or MLS.
The former destination makes sense given Arango’s playing history – he played in Mexico from 2000-04 for Puebla, Pachua and Monterrey, and he could have an opportunity to reunite with former Venezuela national team coach César Farías, now the coach of Club Tijuana.
For those unfamiliar with Arango, he is the very epitome of that old cliché, "cultured left foot.” A true South American No. 10, he’s spent the last 10 years terrorizing defenses in Spain and Germany with his devastating free kicks and slick passing. On the international level he’s been capped 121 times for Venezuela, scoring 22 goals.
2. CUAUHTÉMOC'S LAST HURRAH: Cuauhtémoc Blanco is 41 years old, but he's not quite ready to hang 'em up.
The former Chicago Fire star and Mexico national team legend will make his return to the Mexican top flight after four-and-a-half years in the lower divisions, with Puebla. It won't be a big move for him – he currently features for crosstown Lobos BUAP, and he could link up with US internationals DaMarcus Beasley (if he stays with La Franja) and Michael Orozco Fiscal.
The deal isn't quite done yet, but Blanco has expressed his desire to have one more crack at the top flight. If he does put pen to paper with Puebla, they would be the 10th club of his illustrious career.
3. MONDAYS WITH MAURO: Much-loved in Seattle, Mauro Rosales’ first few months in Southern California with Chivas USA have been rough, to say the least, as the Goats struggle to find their footing in their last year in red-and-white stripes.
But make no mistake – he’s up for the challenge.
In a Q&A with FutbolMLS.com, Rosales discussed the added responsibilities he faces as a leader on a rebuilding team, the trend of his Argentine countrymen flocking to MLS and the controversial expansion to thirty teams his home country's top flight is considering, so be sure to check it out. Here he is on why MLS is such an attractive destination for Argentine players:
“MLS is a very organized league. The competitiveness MLS offers now is very good and it’s nice to play. The teams are very even and that makes for good games. Those are some of the reasons MLS attracts Argentine players."
4. EL HIJO DEL VIENTO: Things are looking up for Marvin Chávez. Despite falling off after starring in San Jose’s 2012 Supporters’ Shield run, the Honduran winger finally got two of his big wishes fulfilled – he has left Colorado in search of more playing time, and he will be going to the World Cup.
Earlier this week (before his trade to Chivas USA), Chávez joined Tiro Libre Radio to discuss his surprise call-up to the World Cup. Also on the show was former Colombia and MLS legend Carlos Valderrama, who recently paid a visit to the MLSsoccer.com offices in New York and took the time to answer fans’ questions on the show.
5. TIKI-TAKA TO EL SALVADOR?: Like Arango and Venezuela, El Salvador will not be in the World Cup this summer, but they're already making big plans so they can be in Russia in for the 2018 edition.
Los Cuscatlecos have hired former Barcelona assistant Albert Roca, who served on Frank Rijkaard's staff when he was the head coach of the club to repair a national team program fractured by a match-fixing scandal that resulted in bans for a number of key players.
And though he says trying to replicate what Barcelona do with El Salvador would be "a stupidity," he has promised he will bring some of that Catalan education to his new team.