OT: [Soccer Alert] Gerrard to MLS - 2nd Biggest Signing Ever for MLS?

Submitted by alum96 on January 7th, 2015 at 8:48 PM

MGo soccer fans - I know Beckham had more global appeal but is this on par in terms of impact on the field?  I know it's not the same Gerrard as 4 year ago but a 10 year captain from one of the biggest clubs in England?  Pretty cool.

Non soccer fan translation - this would be like Yzerman leaving the Red Wings to go play in the KHL (Russia) at age 36.

Comments

OccaM

January 7th, 2015 at 9:09 PM ^

Rumors are Wenger might be going after Cavani at PSG... That would be exciting if it were to happen. 

It's nice seeing Arsenal open up the coin purse this year. 

 

As for Gerrard meh, just another seemingly over the hill player coming to the US for a payday he wouldn't get anywhere else. 

 

 

alum96

January 7th, 2015 at 9:05 PM ^

He is 34 not 36.  I used 36 year old Yzerman (guy who was with Red Wings from age 18 as a decade+ captain) as a comparison.  (hockey players probably can go an extra year or three nowadays)

Soccer players tend to degrade quickly in their mid 30s, esp those with as much tread as Gerrard but still pretty neat.   MLS can pass Turkey as a destination for guys in their last 4 years of career. ;) 

Henry is the only other guy of this caliber to make it over and he was farther along on his downside IMO.  And not an "institution" at one club.

cheesheadwolverine

January 7th, 2015 at 9:06 PM ^

All the biggest names in MLS (Defoe (who just now decided he wasn't retired enough for MLS), Henry, Gerrard, Beckham, Lampard, Villa) treat MLS as a retirement league. It wouldn't be as sexy, but spending that money on players under 30 who are good but not quite good enough for the best leagues (hi Jozy Altidore) would probably be more conducive to improving the quality of soccer.

gopoohgo

January 7th, 2015 at 9:19 PM ^

Sure.  Hitting a brace in their last FA cup tie = living off old acolades.  Granted it was against a Tier 2 side but still..

FWIW some of the MLS guys have hit a second wind (Cahill)and maybe moving abroad again.  Would bet you David Villa obliterates the MLS as well and finds his way back to Europe.

CR7

January 7th, 2015 at 9:10 PM ^

It's annoying that the MLS keep making these signings. Becks, fine. Henry, sure. But Gerrard? I would've hoped, by now, that the MLS moved on from this sort of 'pay attention to us' signing.

GoBlueRandy

January 7th, 2015 at 9:17 PM ^

Going to miss him at Anfield. He's definitely been on the decline but still admire him as a Liverpool supporter. I don't follow MLS all that much, but why do all these guys end up in LA?

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GoBlueBrooklyn

January 7th, 2015 at 9:20 PM ^

I am very bummed that Gerrard is going to LA. Like most longtime Liverpool supporters, I think the club was cheap and disrespectful not offer him a phasing out in a Giggs-type role and a new contract, but OTOH, he said he would not accept being a squad player, so, it's a shame. He has slowed down though and is missing the attcking dynamism of his early years... That said,  when he played this week in a box-to-box position (and not as a deep holding MF) he played great-- grabbed 2 goals (albeit one on a free kick), but against Wimbledon, so, it's not the standard required.  He's given his life to club, it is dispappointing to see him not given a contract to see him play at LFC to the end. But time goes by, men get old, and they move out of the game. It was inevitable, but a shame to see it play out this way.

I am also bummed he chose LA and not a reunion wth Ged Houllier at NY Red Bull as I live in NYC and would have been an instant season ticket buyer, as would thousands of other LFC fans in the area. Now his games will be on at 10:00 PM EST and later and, even with an MLS package subscription, I'll miss many of them, as will a ton of fans. 

Doubly disappointed.

BrownJuggernaut

January 7th, 2015 at 9:27 PM ^

1. Beckham

2. Henry

3. Gerrard

I think Gerrard has the least to offer of the three at the time of his transfer. His ability to move was a big part of his game and he doesn't have the legs anymore. 

ih8losing

January 7th, 2015 at 9:30 PM ^

Good signing but a few other players come to mind who, imho, joined at an earlier stage of their career or were higher profile players:

Pélé
Beckenbauer
David Beckam
Thierry Henry
Frank Lampard
Kaka

Either way, good signing. Now only if MLS could develop more players...

bacon1431

January 7th, 2015 at 9:43 PM ^

I'm fine with MLS still being a "retirement league". It raises the profile of the league, increases revenue, and the young MLS players get to play against and with some guys that were elite at one point in their careers. The youngsters will see them work and know what it takes to get to such a level. Eventually, it won't be considered a retirement league, but it takes time. MLS is gradually getting better. My worry I'd that as the league gets better, some of the small market teams will get left in the dust as foreign players would probably prefer to play in the biggest markets.

Yeoman

January 7th, 2015 at 9:57 PM ^

I don't know what you get out of playing with or against players that can no longer play. It's like thinking you're going to get more out of playing in a master-series tennis exhibition than you'd get out of a real tournament.

I don't see that it raises the profile of the league, either, at least among soccer people. To me it reinforces the impression that it's a third-tier league, at best, with more money than it can find a use for. Still have some skills but can't run any more? We pay a lot better than League Two and you'll be just as successful here...and the best part is that the fans won't even notice that you aren't any good.

bacon1431

January 7th, 2015 at 10:57 PM ^

Beckham, Keane, Henry etc could definitely still play when they got here. They all could have easily stayed in the top leagues in Europe, just at mid table or low table teams. So could Lampard (who is playing for the defending Prem champs), Gerrard, Kaka and probably others in the future. Acting like they're just a group of schmucks is silly.

We don't need to be taken seriously by "soccer people". Of course we are a third rate league. We have third rate talent throughout most of the league. But the league needs to increase revenue, and the best way to do that is get big names so people will pay attention. MLS needs to get the attention of people in the US. How are you going to get people who don't know much about soccer to care? By bringing in some names they'll recognize.

bacon1431

January 7th, 2015 at 11:10 PM ^

You'll be sleeping for about 6-8 more years then. 

I don't think anybody is saying that this is making MLS a significantly better league. But I do think it is going to make the league some money. Which in the long term, will help it raise it's profile. Just like how MLS clubs are starting to produce some quality young players partially as a result of money being made from past "big" signings. MLS is a long term project. Gotta grow the game in the States. This is just a small part of the puzzle. 

Yeoman

January 8th, 2015 at 12:02 AM ^

...because I grew up in a soccer community?

Friday nights at my high school, the stadium was empty after halftime because the band parents had all gone home. But on Saturdays, for soccer, you couldn't park within half a mile of the stadium and if you weren't there half an hour before game time you weren't finding a seat. Soccer was the sport for kids there, had been since the late '60s. It wasn't until I went away for college that I realized how unusual it all was.

It's still unusual--I don't suppose that sort of Saturday Night Lights atmosphere exists anywhere in the US (the luster's faded in my town, too, the demographics are different now--the school's about 1/3 the size it was--and the community doesn't support HS sports of any kind). But the rest of it? Kids playing soccer in every park? Organized youth leagues every bit as big and important as Pop Warner and Knothole? Seems to be everywhere.

We had a three-decade head start on the rest of the country, and it makes it hard to be patient. It seems like we should be there by now...and here's MLS, still trying to make money off big names instead of maximizing the product on the field. I have the same reaction to the European clubs coming over here for their pre-season friendlies. I don't want to see an exhibition--I want to see soccer.

It's frustrating. And it could be so much better. And it will...but I'm starting to worry that I won't live to see it.

snarling wolverine

January 7th, 2015 at 10:11 PM ^

I think Thierry Henry was a bigger deal.  One of the greatest goalscorers and most accomplished players ever (won the World Cup, Euro, Champions League, Premier League, Liga, and Ligue 1) and still in pretty good form when he arrived.

 

 

Bill the Butcher

January 7th, 2015 at 10:46 PM ^

Captain Fantastic...You Will Never Walk Alone!

That night in Istanbul in 2005 is in my top 3 sports moments ever.  That was a really special night.  

It was always going to be a sad day to see Stevie G hang em up, but I had hoped he would finish his career with LFC.