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Ronaldinho to MLS: Now or Never

The relationship between Ronaldinho and Brazilian club Flamengo could not have come to an end in an uglier fashion. With the club owing the star many salaries and bonuses, Ronaldinho took legal terms to terminate his contract by suing his team. Unfortunately for the Brazilian, this is seen as another controversy in his dynamic career, therefore his 32 years, plus his above average salary make one think that his days in the Brasileirao are over.

But, although Ronaldo Gaucho has played past its prime years, he is still a player that sells jerseys, and that still has enough quality to play in a competitive level. The problem with Ronaldinho is that he is getting older, and with age he is losing ability, therefore not many teams are willing to pay a high salary to someone that is not worth it any longer. Well, there is one league that might think differently–Major League Soccer.

The MLS is still on its well-planned growing stages, and it is a league that feeds from players like Ronaldinho who are nearing retirement but that were once top in the football world. The league will benefit from siging the Brazilian because it will bring another “David Beckham” to the league. Ronaldinho will be another reason for the entire world (and the United States itself) to point their eyes at the MLS, which nonetheless translates into more jersey sales, higher television ratings, and higher stadium attendance. Most importantly, it will bring another star to a league that undoubtedly lacks major talent.

So, where will Ronaldinho land? The first two teams that come into mind are Los Angeles Galaxy and New York Red Bulls. Unfortunately for those wishing this could happen, these two teams have their designated player spots filled and unless they get rid of someone like Robbie Keane or Rafa Marquez, it will make it impossible for Ronaldinho to play at either of the two biggest markets.

Several factors come in place if Ronaldinho is to play at the MLS. First, it needs to be an important market that will benefit from his signing. Right away, this removes Columbus Crew, Montreal Impact, Toronto F.C., San Jose Earthquakes, Colorado Rapids, Vancouver Whitecaps, and Portland Timbers from any chance of signing him. Second, it is essential that Ronaldinho arrives at a popular team that will be capable of selling as many jerseys and stadium seats as possible. This puts New England Revolution, Philadelphia Union, Real Salt Lake, Chivas USA, and Dallas F.C. in a negative position. This leaves Sporting Kansas City, D.C. United, Houston Dynamo, Chicago Fire, and Seattle Sounders as the only possibilities.

For the well-being of the MLS and its fans, Ronaldinho and the league will benefit most if he joins the club with the best and most intense fans. A fanbase that sells out every home game and follows its team on the road, the Sounders is the ideal destination for Ronaldinho. It will add a third elite team to the league, and most importantly, it will add talent to a talented team.