Shevchenko Coming to America?

Andriy Shevchenko's tumultuous stay at Stamford Bridge may soon be coming to an end. Could the Ukranian striker follow in David Beckham's footsteps by linking up with a Major League Soccer team this winter? The Daily Mirror sees it as a distinct possibility.A previous European Footballer of the Year, Sheva was signed to a record contract by English powerhouse Chelsea from Italian powerhouse AC Milan in 2006, but has mustered a paltry five goals in league play since joining the Blues 18 months ago. As a result, the 31-year-old has seen a decrease in playing time and is reportedly no longer in owner Roman Abromovich's plans for the future.

Enter Major League Soccer. The New York Red Bulls and the New England Revolution are listed as potential suitors for Shevchenko when the January transfer window opens. His wife, model Kristen Pazik, grew up in the Washington, D.C. area and both husband and wife are said to be keen on raising their two young children in America. Add to that previous comments by the player himself on wanting to finish out his career in the United States, and the recipe could be perfect for another foreign invasion.

Shevchenko would undoubtedly be considered a Designated Player, meaning he could be signed to a massive contract while only counting $400,000 toward the strict MLS salary cap. It should be noted that the New York Red Bulls currently have both of their DP slots in use, assigned to former U.S. captain Claudio Reyna and Colombian forward Juan Pablo Angel. New England's DP slot is unused as of now, but that could change if they feel that a player on the market could take them from MLS Cup finalist to MLS Champion.

What do you think? Would Shevchenko do well on U.S. shores? Which team is in the best position to sign him? What effect would his signing have for the league?


FREEB!RDS said...

not going to happen...Chelsea have said they're going to let him go for 12 millions pounds. They just bought him last summer for 31 million pounds. I highly doubt that stingy Bob Kraft would pay around 30 million dollars for Sheva.

Nathan said...

Can't see this happening, certainly not with the teams mentioned. Kraft won't pay, NYRB doesn't have a slot, though they could restructure Reyna's contract to take him off DP status. But I don't see them having cap space unless Reyna retires.

Who could pay a Shevchenko price of $25-$30 million for his rights plus whatever salary? AEG. Which means Houston. Or Seattle. But they don't play until 2009. And AEG is trying to unload Houston.

Which leads me to the conclusion that this article, like so many in the ever-reliable Mirror is garbage.