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French invasion in the works
by Paul Kennedy, April 6th, 2010 3:16AM

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TAGS:  france, mls, new york red bulls

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[MLS] Is Major League Soccer ready to parlez-vous français? According to Paris magazine France Football, Thierry Henry, rumored to be headed to the New York Red Bulls, is just one of many French stars who could be headed to MLS this summer.

Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires, who like Henry played on France's 1998 World Cup championship team, are other big names who could join MLS teams.

Timing is a factor in favor of an influx of French stars. Their international careers are or will be finished after the World Cup.

Henry will captain France in South Africa, but Vieira and Pires are not expected to be part of France's 2010 World Cup team. All three players once played together at Arsenal.

MLS has modified its rules to allow teams to sign two or three Designated Players and take less of a hit in terms of how their salaries impact a club's salary cap.

Other French players mentioned include Ludovic Giuly and Camel Meriem, though Jerome de Bontin, the former Monaco president who has been actively involved in American soccer for many years, told France Football that about 20 French players or players who played for French clubs have contacted him about joining MLS.



9 comments
  1. Joe Grady
    commented on: April 6, 2010 at 11:04 a.m.
    no better way to kill a league than for it to have a reputation as the 'pasture' for old guys. let' em go play in the middle east or some japanese league.

  1. Mike Gaire
    commented on: April 6, 2010 at 12:54 p.m.
    I couldn't disagree with you guys more, I would not have missed Stoichychkof (sp? wll you know who I mean! He scored some amazing goals for Chicago!) Carlos Valderama or Darren Huckerby for the world! And I look forward to continuing to see David Beckham in LA for at least another couple of years! And how about Jaime Moreno, Kasey Keller and Blanco? Not exactly spring chickens but still damn good entertainers! Bring it on I say and I just hope the Irishmen in New York have short memories and don;t give Henry too much of a hard time. Patrick Viera for San Jose? Yes please!!! He is a bloody sight better than Bobby Convey ever was or will be!!

  1. Raymond Dreyfuss
    commented on: April 6, 2010 at 4:40 p.m.
    I think its a good idea if it brings in more fans and help the young players to progress by way of, incentives for the love of the game and financial incentives. also hopefully it will make money for the teams participate in this project it worked in the past. one stipulation of contracts for DP's should be A+ PERFORMANCE IF NOT THEIR CONTRACT SHOULD BE TERMINATED (TOUTE SUITE)

  1. Paul Bryant
    commented on: April 6, 2010 at 8:19 p.m.
    When you bring in a star like Henry you need to bring in a complimentary player for him to play with in order to get the most out of the player. Look at Bechham and Donovan, Ljumberg and Moreno. Unfortunately, Huckerby and Juan Pablo Angel never got that complimentary player.

  1. James Froehlich
    commented on: April 7, 2010 at 12:56 p.m.
    I have no problem with bringing in "good" DP's but merely getting a big name with no regard for how he will perform in MLS is a recipe for disappointment and/or disaster. For example, bringing in someone like Giuly who is 34/35 and has made his name as a wingers who will run at the defenders is unlikely to be successful. At his age, and decrease quickness he is unlikely to be successful enough to justify the cost and the notoriety when MLS defenders eat his lunch. However, someone like Meriem sounds interesting (assuming that he's over his physical problems). A smart, skilled midfield "creater" can work his magic long after his legs have grown weaker, eg, Valderama. MLS is hopefully past needing to bring in "twilight" players just for their name and reputation. They need to fit their teams and they need to still have the skills to entertain.

  1. James Froehlich
    commented on: April 7, 2010 at 12:59 p.m.
    Forget Patrick Viera and Robert Pires !!!

  1. James Froehlich
    commented on: April 7, 2010 at 1:01 p.m.
    Forget Viera and Pires

  1. Jermaine Gause
    commented on: April 7, 2010 at 5:51 p.m.
    MLS should not be a retirement camp of players well past its prime. We're 15 seasons old and we've tried this strategy from Season 1. With the exception of Valderrama, Etcheverry and Novak, signing "washed-up" players typically does not work for MLS. This league is one of the most physical in the world and older players ten to get injured often (see Gallardo, Donadoni, Matthaus, Djorkaeff..do I need to go on??)

  1. Jermaine Gause
    commented on: April 7, 2010 at 5:52 p.m.
    excuse the grammar errors....I was writing with passion! lol


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