By DAN KARELL
Obafemi Martins’ recent positive comments about Major League Soccer clearly show a recent trend. More and more foreign players, with plenty left in their game or just at the start of their careers, are jumping at the opportunity to play in the United States.
Following in the footsteps of countrymen Diego Valeri, Claudio Bieler, and Matias Laba this past spring could be Boca Juniors midfielder Walter Erviti, who is considering an offer from MLS, and is likely to accept it over a move to Ukraine, according to reports out of Argentina.
Erviti has been at Boca since January 2011, following a move from nearby Banfield. The 33-year-old midfielder spent 2002-2008 at Liga MX side Monterrey, where he starred in the center of the park for the Rayados. Since moving to Boca, Erviti has been a key player for the side in the domestic league and the Copa Libertadores campaigns, starting 23 games over the past two seasons as Boca has made deep runs in the tournament.
Here are some more stories from around MLS:
SOUNDERS AFTER LEVANTE’S NAVARRO
The Seattle Sounders are set to raid Spanish club Levante again.
According to reports out of Spain, the Sounders have offered a contract to 33-year-old centerback David Navarro, who just wrapped up his second season at Levante.
Navarro, who came through the ranks of Valencia and spent nearly his whole career at the club, would be the second Levante player to don the neon green of the Sounders, following in Obafemi Martins’ footsteps.
The Levante defender, despite his age, played 43 times last season for the club in all competitions, including eight matches in the Europa League.
RIVERO SUFFERS YET ANOTHER INJURY
Though it’s not known how serious it is yet, Martin Rivero is back on the sidelines once again, just days after returning from his latest injury.
On Wednesday, the Colorado Rapids midfielder limped off early in the second half of their 2-1 defeat to the Chicago Fire with a quad injury, adding to the early season foot injuries that have forced him out of nine matches this season.
Last season’s leading assist man has hardly had time to gain match fitness, making just four starts and seven appearances so far this season. Rivero broke his foot in a pre-season match last February, and in late May he felt pain and discomfort in that same foot, forcing him to the sidelines once more.
The Rapids will evaluate the fresh quad injury further on Friday.
STOKE CITY ANNOUNCE FRIENDLY MATCH AGAINST UNION
English Premier League side Stoke City will wrap up their tour of the United States with a match against the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park on July 30, before they head back to the UK.
Stoke will already be playing FC Dallas on July 24 and then the Houston Dynamo on July 27 in matches that will be homecomings for Stoke players Brek Shea and Geoff Cameron. The friendly match will be the Union’s second home friendly against international competition after playing UNAM Pumas last March, winning, 1-0.
The match for the Union comes in between games at the Vancouver Whitecaps on July 27 and at home against the Chicago Fire on August 3.
What do you make of these notes? Do you see Erviti coming to MLS? Would Navarro be a good fit in Seattle? What do you think of Rivero’s injuries?
Share your thoughts below.