We've got our number ten. #WelcomeJosue
City Signs Paraguayan Midfielder Josué Colmán as Young Designated Player.January 15, 2018
What is different about Medina and Jose Colman is how much younger they are -- 20 and 19, respectively -- than Almiron and Cristian Colman, who were both 23 when they signed a year ago.
In that regard, they are similar to the two greatest Paraguayans to play in the United States: Julio Cesar Romero and the late Roberto Cabanas, 19 and 18, respectively when they signed with the New York Cosmos for the 1980 season.
Everyone remembers Pele, Franz Beckenbauer, Carlos Alberto, Giorgio Chinaglia, Johan Neeskens and the like, but the Cosmos pounced on Romero and Cabanas after Paraguay won the 1979 Copa America. (Romero scored twice in the final against Chile.)
Romero and Cabanas both started when the Cosmos won Soccer Bowl 1980. (Romero had the first goal in the 3-0 win over Gerd Mueller's Fort Lauderdale Strikers.) Cabanas played until the end of the NASL, which folded after the 1984 season, while Romero left after 1983. Both went on to have long and successful careers after they left the Cosmos.
But the market conditions that favored the Cosmos and the rest of the NASL, for that matter, were far different than today. Most European leagues had tight restrictions on foreigners and there was no free agency -- the Bosman ruling didn't come until a decade and a half later -- so the Cosmos were free to pick off pretty much anyone they'd like on the international market.
With pipelines opened in Paraguay and Venezuela and expanding in Argentina, the foray of MLS clubs today into the South American transfer market is huge by MLS standards and is starting to compare to that of Mexican and Portuguese clubs, but it is still baby steps.
It will take at least five years to know the payoff.