Attacking players are often the first to get looks from abroad when the transfer window opens up and MLS teams get worried about losing their best. Because of this fact, teams are often constantly looking for new attacking talent. Though traditionally South America and Africa have been the first choices for finding international talent, MLS scouts would do well to look to Asia as well.
Sunil Chetri, a diminutive, 24 year-old striker who also happens to be the Indian National Team’s top attacking threat and the I-League’s top domestic scorer, could be a major coup for an MLS side. Chetri has been playing in India for the last few months after a trial with Coventry City in England, and he has been linked to Fulham and two anonymous MLS teams in the past. If Chetri were to make the move to the United States, not only would he be a valuable addition to his squad, his presence in the league would immediately boost the profile of both club and league in India, an emerging international football market. For Sunil, the move to higher competition could only improve the lethal attacker as a player, which would in turn benefit his national side.
To this point, USL clubs have been much better about scouting Asian talent than MLS teams. Portland, for example, has brought in several Japanese players, as well as Solomon Islands international Benjamin Totori. It would be exciting for MLS fans, as well as Asian fans, if MLS started reaching out to more Asian players.