More names bound for the MLS rumor mill

Thierry Henry to MLS? ... a rumor to believe. And that makes one in a row.

Coming soon to an MLS rumor near you: Ronaldinho. And Patrick Vieira. And more.

The World Cup rosters are out, and we’ve all seen some big names in varying degrees of huffing and puffing distress due to snubs in their national teams’ plans.

We also know that participation in a World Cup tends to overly inflate player values.

Put it all together, stir it into frothy brew and what do you get? I’ll tell you what …

Agents in distress will be scrambling for Plan B to bolster their clients’ leverage going forward. And what sits at the top of the leverage-bolstering playbook for Euro stars of a certain age? Yep … play the MLS card.

It nearly always works. Dangle a name with a friendly press operative in Europe. Wait for it to be picked up on MLS shores and circulated in the spin cycle here and, voila!

Will it actually work to drive up the price? I don’t know. But I do know for sure that someone, somewhere, will get excited about it over here.

The list of players omitted from World Cup rosters include Ronaldinho, Adriano, Vieira, Alexandre Pato, Francesco Totti, Karim Benzema, Ruud van Nistelroooy, Esteban Cambiasso and Javier Zanetti. We’ve also heard Robert Pires’ name come and go in the MLS rumor churn, although the former Arsenal man was never a serious threat to make France’s roster for South Africa.

I know that talks have gone on between MLS and Thierry Henry. And indeed, he’s a name that does stand a chance at adding some snap, crackle and pop to the league. So would a couple of others, but I don’t think a guy like Ronaldinho is quite ready to cross the Atlantic, so don’t go getting a little soccer stiffy over that one.

Still, that won’t stop someone from floating the rumor. Just remember what I always say: I’ll get excited about one of these guys when some team calls a news conference to announce his official signing. 

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