You don’t need to look far to find young Argentine talents throughout MLS. Just to name a few, there’s Chicago Fire FC midfielder Ignacio Aliseda, NYCFC forward Valentin Castellanos and Columbus Crew SC left back Milton Valenzuela. With a slightly higher price tag, you also have Atlanta United midfielder Ezequiel Barco, Minnesota United midfielder Emanuel Reynoso and LA Galaxy forward Cristian Pavon.
They’re all 24 years old or younger, and aspiring players chasing careers on the world’s biggest stages.
Jorge Higuain, the father of D.C. United midfielder Federico Higuain (35) and likely Inter Miami signing Gonzalo Higuain (32), — who was also a long-time professional himself — believes the MLS preference is a growing trend. Simultaneously, he thinks European interest has diminished.
Jorge Higuain believes that the amount of young Argentine players that attract European interest has dwindled.— Felipe Cardenas (@FelipeCar) September 14, 2020
"#MLS has become an exporter of footballers. Players want to come to MLS. In Argentina the clubs are mismanaged and that's why Argentine football is what it is."
MLS is establishing a greater reputation on the worldwide transfer market, mostly through Homegrown Players like Tyler Adams, Alphonso Davies and Zack Steffen. But that’s not the only pathway for teenagers and 20-somethings, even Argentines who might normally head straight to Europe or a high-profile club in the Americas.
They now, according to the eldest Higuain, view MLS as a viable option in greater numbers. MLS can be their springboard and proving ground, and it’s clear that scouts are combing the league for up-and-comers – both of the Homegrown and international variety.
There's also the track record of Atlanta United selling Paraguayan midfielder Miguel Almiron to Newcastle (Premier League) and Argentine midfielder Pity Martinez to Al-Nassr FC (Saudi Arabia). Both transfer fees approached or surpassed $20 million, so the model can prove fruitful for MLS when looking towards South America.