For years, the African Cup of Nations has been a feeding ground for Europe's top clubs in search of cheap foreign talent. Andrew Dixon of USSoccerPlayers wonders whether MLS scouts, fixated on bolstering their squads with Latin American talent, have even bothered to make the trek to Ghana this year, because if they are, "they're certainly keeping it a secret," he says.
We know there are nearly 12 million Hispanic households in the U.S., and most of them have soccer in their blood. And while it's understandable that the league is trying to tap that potentially massive fan base, Dixon argues that the American soccer fan wants to see quality on the field. Period. "It's time [for MLS] to drop such a facile approach to selling itself and just find good players, no matter where they're from," he says, adding that MLS would be able to lure African players, who are notoriously underpaid, to the States for lower prices than they pay in South America. Meanwhile, the arrival of David Beckham and other stars has also made the league a more attractive place for these players to play.