The US men’s national team have failed to qualify for the world cup after somehow being unable to earn a single point that was required of last-placed Trinidad and Tobago. There might be a lack of interest from casual sports viewers in the US but those who follow the Major League Soccer will be well taken care of as many of their stars represent their countries. Here are five MLS stars who we need to keep an eye on in Russia 2018.
Carlos Vela: Forward- Mexico
Vela is undoubtedly one of the brightest stars in the MLS. The Mexican won the golden boot at the 2005 U-17 world cup and signed for Arsenal when he was still a teenager. Even though he didn’t live up to the promise he showed as a teenager, he gained a lot of reputation at El Tri in La Liga for the better part of this decade. Over the years, inconsistency has been his greatest setback but looking at the way he has been playing recently for LAFC scoring 7 goals and notching up 5 assists in just 12 games, don’t be surprised if he sets group F alight with his goal-scoring prowess.
Omar Gaber: Defender- Egypt
People wouldn’t hesitate to bet on Egypt to go through the group stage especially if their star winger Mohammed Salah recovers from his shoulder injury on time. Their group looks manageable, especially considering the fact that Salah is a genuine game changer.
Gaber plays under former Egypt coach Bob Bradly at LAFC and has been an integral part of their historic qualifying campaign, earning 22 caps in the process.
Roman Torres: Defender- Panama
Roman Torres has been nothing short of a hero for both club and country. He’s not only won his club Seattle’s first ever MLS title back in 2016 by scoring the decisive penalty but has also scored the goal that ensured Panama’s first ever World Cup appearance. The Defender is a vital cog in the Panama defence and he will look to prove his metal at the biggest stage of all.
Rodney Wallace: midfielder- Costa Rica
The midfielder might not be the biggest inspiration to his team, but his story is remarkable in some sense. After injuring his knee playing for the Timbers four years ago, Wallace had to watch his teammates become the underdog darlings of the tournament after their impressive run to the Quarter Finals. He was obviously happy for his teammates but somewhere deep down would have felt disappointed that he missed out on his country’s best World Cup run. Most players would be broken, but the man stayed at it and nobody will enjoy the upcoming weeks more than him.
Laurent Ciman: Defender- Belgium
LAFC’s captain might not be the most recognised names in the star-studded Belgium squad that includes superstar’s like Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard and he even might stand out as a sore thumb when you look at the clubs these players represent and hence he might see very less game time falling behind the stars that are stacked ahead of him in the pecking order. But injuries are common are big tournaments like the World Cup and he has the trust of his manager because he provides reliable defensive depth. He is also undoubtedly the most likely player from the MLS to lift the coveted trophy.