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Roger Torres signing part of larger trend in MLS

In signing young midfielder Roger Torres, Philadelphia Union are taking part in a growing trend in MLS: Bringing in Colombian talent, especially that of the young variety.

Colombia has boasted stars in MLS such as the colorful Carlos Valderrama and arguably the league’s current best player (while Landon’s in England at least) in Juan Pablo Angel.

However, recently it has been Seattle’s hotshot loanee Freddy Montero generating that Colombian caffeine buzz. You better believe a 21-year-old bagging 12 goals in 27 games in his first season on a new team in a new (read: better) league gets the attention of coaches and front-offices everywhere. Now while Union brass (and fans) may not be counting on the next Montero, they do see in Torres a player of great vision and potential in midfield, who will add to the team’s depth and also develop his game.

There is also a new trio of young Colombians that will be filling a far different role. Centerbacks Pablo Escobar (no relation), Edward Zea and Hanyer Mosquera will be looking to force their way into a team’s reckoning come the start of the season. As of yet only Escobar has been allocated to a squad (Kansas City), but there is still time for the others to catch on.

Also don’t forget about Chivas USA’s 20-year-old defender Yamith Cuesta, who just signed this past summer. Same goes for FC Dallas’ Jair Benitez, who while not exactly a spring chicken at 31, still reflects the recent influx.

So before this devolves into a name-dropping exercise, let’s conclude on this note: This is good for MLS, as it shows that is an increasingly viable destination for young South American players, and of course, hopefully this will be good for Columbia as a footballing nation, that some of their young players are getting more exposure abroad.


  1. How do you write an article about great Colombian transfers to MLS and NOT mention Jamison Olave? You know, the stalwart leading defender for the MLS CUP CHAMPIONS!

    Montero, okay he seems to be good. But Benitez who? Cuesta what?

    Lame guys. Do some research.

    • With all due respect, this is not about “great” Colombian transfers, but simply that there has been a recent flurry of them. Fair enough, Olave may have been worth mentioning, but if you’re the one asking who Benitez or Cuesta are, perhaps it is YOU who need to do some research.

  2. Seriously? That’s your come back? Who cares about Benitez or Cuesta. They probably won’t even play that much this year.

    You can’t seriously tell me that any Colombian signing, with the exceptions of Angel or Montero were bigger than Olave. Sorry.

    Considering the very few comments you guys have on your blog, you would think you would learn to handle criticism a little more diplomatically.

    That’s okay, ASN, Ives and the Insider do a better job anyways.

  3. Well, you’re right. Olave was a good signing. I didn’t see anyone argue otherwise. He didn’t mention Wilman Conde either. It doesn’t mean Conde isn’t one of the league’s best defenders.

    Every guy mentioned in the above post linked up with MLS in the last year, with the exception of Angel and Valderrama, and they’re obviously mentioned because they might be the best Colombian players to play in MLS. That seemed to me to be kind of the point: To highlight what’s becoming a pipeline from Colombia to MLS.

    And you’re also right here: Ives and Insider are good. I read them both. They’re full-time soccer writers. We do it on the side for kicks while working full-time elsewhere. Thanks for reading.

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