Fourteen Colombians have joined MLS teams in the offseason, raising to 28 the number of players in MLS from the South American nation. Edgar Acero explains why the influx: One league’s failure is another's success. It's not only that MLS pays better. It pays on time as promised, with no hiccups or delays.
Former power America de Cali, which was relegated to the second division last season, owed up to eight months of salary to the players. Two of the three Colombians now with New England -- Fernando Cárdenas and John Lozano -- arrived from the struggling club.
“Some of the other [Colombian] players come here thinking that this is just as good of an opportunity as going to Europe because you’re getting world exposure,” FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said. “You got the Henrys playing, the Beckhams playing, and those games are watched all over the world. Another thing is, I think they see how their countrymen are doing. They say now ‘Hey, I’m not going to be the first.”
“I think it’s a great opportunity,” said Tressor Moreno, the new Colombian playmaker for San Jose Earthquakes. “I know MLS because many Colombians have played here and I watched them on TV before coming.”