A couple of years ago, we saw an increase in the number of Mexican players making it to Major League Soccer. Now, it seems to be the opposite case. Many of the elements that then joined the American league are now leaving it. Here’s a look at the Mexican players who will no longer be in MLS by 2022.
JONATHAN DOS SANTOS
Midfielder Jonathan dos Santos is the reinforcement of Las Águilas del América for 2022. Dos Santos’ younger brother will fulfill the family dream of playing for Azulcremas, just as his father and brother Giovani did. Dos Santos ended his contract with LA Galaxy and after four and a half years at the Los Angeles club, the institution decided not to renew it. In his time in MLS, Jona became a leader on and off the court, wearing the captain’s badge for the past two years. The injuries diminished Jona’s regularity, but when he was healthy, he remained at a competitive level that earned him being called up by the Mexican National Team.
Rodolfo Pizarro joined David Beckham’s Inter Miami CF as one of the great additions of the debutant MLS club in 2020. After two seasons at the club, the Mexican’s performance and results were not on his side. Now, Pizarro is at the gates of Monterrey as a loan and with an option to buy, according to reports from the Miami Herald. There was also talk of the possibility of a return to Chivas. Since last summer, there were rumors of his departure, however, strategist Phil Neville dismissed them. On this occasion, Pizarro’s fate seems to lie again in Mexican soccer.
Since the departure of coach Diego Alonso, who directed him at Pachuca and Rayados, Pizarro ceased to be the undisputed starter under Neville’s orders. He had the Designated Player label and as one of the highest paid in the league, at $ 3 million a year, more was expected of him.
Oswaldo Alanís did not enter into San José Earthquakes plans for the 2022 campaign, the Californian club did not exercise the contract option for the Mexican defender who was on loan. Alanís shared a farewell on his social networks, “One more stage of my soccer life with San José Earthquakes has ended. They were two years of good soccer experiences, learning, experiences and personal growth in California. Thank you fans, coaching staff and directors ”.
Alanís still has a contract with Chivas de Guadalajara, so the Guadalajara club will have to decide the future of the 32-year-old footballer, whether he returns to a new stage with El Rebaño, or some negotiation with another club.
Carlos Fierro was also not renewed by the San Jose Earthquakes and the midfielder is a free agent. After two and a half seasons in the Californian club, Fierro finished his time in MLS and everything seems to indicate that his destiny would be in Mexican soccer again. Upon his arrival with the Quakes, Fierro met coach Matías Almeyda again. Its highest productivity came in 2021, being used mainly as a spare part. The Mexican player participated in 28 games, 12 as a starter, for a total of 1,152 minutes, 3 goals and 4 assists this year.
Erik ‘Cubo’ Torres no longer entered into coach Gonzalo Pineda’s plans for 2022. El Cubo lived a second stage in MLS with Atlanta United, after a successful stint in Houston. Faced with the loss of Atlanta’s star scorer, Josef Martínez due to injury in 2020, Cubo reinforced the squad. The impact of a forward ends up being measured in goals and Torres scored just one goal in 33 games played between 2020 and 2021. El Cubo is a free agent and there is already talk of a return to Mexican soccer.
JOSE CARLOS VAN RANKIN
Jose Carlos Van Rankin came to reinforce the Portland Timbers squad in the just ended 2021 season. The Mexican right-back had a very successful campaign with the Timbers, as he became a key player in the defense of coach Giovanni Savarese. He played 33 of 34 regular season games and all four playoff games, including the final, for a total of 2,808 minutes. Van Rankin came close to claiming the title in his first MLS season, losing to NYCFC on penalties to decide the championship.
Van Rankin came to the whole of Oregon on loan and his letter still belongs to Chivas. The MLS runner-up club announced its squad for 2022. In said statement, it specified that it is in contract talks with Van Rankin, so its continuity in the North American league is not ruled out.
Another player who is doubtful to continue in MLS is Jurgen Damm. The Mexican midfielder for Atlanta United still has a contract with the red-and-black institution and appears on the team’s payroll for 2022, but much more is expected of the player. He will have to earn a place under the command of Gonzalo Pineda, that is if an offer does not arrive that decides his departure.
With the exception of players like Javier Hernández, Carlos Vela and Alan Pulido, who have proven with their respective teams, many others have fallen short of having a greater impact in MLS, which continues to grow by leaps and bounds.
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Mexicans leave MLS