Goal.com looks at the players who could be leaving the North American league before opening day in 2013.Christmas might be on Tuesday but there are quite a few clubs waiting until Jan. 1 to do their winter shopping.
Several Major League Soccer players are on the radars of teams abroad and could be making a move once the winter transfer windows opens in January. There is also the possibility that a certain American superstar could decide to walk away from the game altogether. In either case, here are five guys who might not be on an MLS roster come next season.
Juan Agudelo - Chivas USA striker
Interested parties: Celtic, midtable EPL sides
Agudelo appears to be the most likely to leave MLS for two reasons: His contract is up after the end of the 2013 season and Chivas USA appears to be heading in a different direction under new ownership and management.
Sources have told Goal.com that Agudelo would want a DP deal similar to Brek Shea's if he were to stay with the Goats but it is unclear whether or not the team will commit those resources to a player who hasn't been consistent in MLS.
Still, Agudelo obviously has vast potential. Liverpool's head of youth development Frank MacParland raved about his ability in an earlier interview with Goal.com.
"Apparently, I know the first-team staff were really impressed with him," McParland told Goal.com. "They said he was a very good player. I remember [former Liverpool coach and West Brom's manager] Steve Clarke saying to me that he did really well when he was with the first team."
Agudelo impressed Celtic in a training stint and there will be plenty of other clubs looking at the 19-year-old should he persue a move to Europe.
Andy Najar - D.C. United
Position: Winger/right back
Interested parties: Anderlecht
Najar has been rumored to be leaving MLS for the past three seasons, linked with top sides such as Arsenal and even Real Madrid. This year might be the year where rumor becomes reality
Similarily to Agudelo, Najar has really made an impression during his training run with top Belgian club Anderlecht. Head coach John Van den Brom, not the easiest coach to gain rave reviews from according to U.S. international Sacha Kljestan, has praised Najar's early practice sessions with the club.
“Najar trained only twice, but fits here pretty quickly,” Van den Brom told Anderlecht-Online.com.
Fredy Montero - Seattle Sounders striker
Interested parties: Millonarios, Liga MX sides
Montero has the ability to be a solid striker in Europe but consistently falters in big games. The Colombian striker has a poor scoring record in postseason matches and continues to start off seasons slowly for the Sounders.
It is speculated that Montero has grown frustrated in not being allowed to move abroad and it is thought that Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid and GM Adrian Hanauer are willing to cut bait. Millonarios and Liga MX sides are rumored to be interested in Montero. Hanauer didn't respond to emails from Goal.com about the topic.
Landon Donovan - Los Angeles Galaxy
Position: Attacking midfielder
Interested parties: None
Donovan continues to insist that he could retire in 2013. If that is the case, then Los Angeles will have its work in rebuilding after losing David Beckham, Donovan and possibly...
Omar Gonzalez - Los Angeles Galaxy
Position: Center back
Interested parties: German Bundlesliga sides
It is clear that Gonzalez wants to play in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and his best chance to do that is landing with a team in Europe. Prior to his injury at F.C. Nürnberg ironically at the hands of fellow U.S. national team player Timothy Chandler, the center back earned some positive feedback from the team's coaching staff.
While Los Angeles will be hesistant to allow Gonzalez to go on trials again after his severe injury from last season, don't be surprised if the defender seeks a permanent move to a club abroad.