Major League Soccer

My ESPN piece on MLS Vagabonds


If you ever wondered about the players who bounce around from team to team in Major League Soccer, you might be interested in my ESPN.com story on MLS vagabonds. I take a look at the 10 players in MLS right now who have played on three more teams in a corresponding number of seasons (or fewer). (I missed Brandon Prideaux, who Chicago picked up off waivers, marking his third team in three seasons. Kyle Brown is on Houston, his third team in three seasons, but has yet to play for the Dynamo. He would be No. 12).

What’s interesting about the current group is the number of quality players on it, including Joe Cannon, Ronnie O’Brien and Amado Guevara. Obviously San Jose being in the mix as an expansion team sort of skews things but that still doesn’t erase the fact that Joe Cannon is playing for his third team in three years, or Alecko Eskandarian his fourth team in three seasons.

In looking back at all the league’s players who had had this anomoly occur in their careers (which basically amounts to having been traded or cut and picked up at least twice in a few years. The number of players to have this happen that I came up with was 69 (not including the 12 heading into this year). I could be off a player or two, but it gives you a sense of roughly how many per year go through this (you figure 69 over the course of 12 years is less than six per season.) Seems like a high number considering the small size of the league.

I’ll post some more of the tidbits regarding these players during the weekend. For now, give the column a read and share your thoughts below.

  • MemRook

    If I were an Australian referee I would be extremely nervous looking at that picture of Joe Cannon; he might high-five me! ***Mark Shield poops his pants … nightmares of Danny Vukovic ensue***


  • scaryice

    You’re missing the following 9 players:

    Kyle Brown – NE, RSL, HOU

    Edson Buddle – NY, TOR, LA

    Marc Burch – LA, CLB, DC

    Kevin Goldthwaite – HOU, TOR, NY

    Richard Mulrooney – DAL, TOR, HOU

    Paulo Nagamura – LA, TOR, CHV

    Brandon Prideaux – DC, COL, CHI

    Shavar Thomas – KC, LA, CHV

    John Wolyniec – CLB, LA, NY

    Most of these have not changed teams this past offseason, though, which may be why you forgot or excluded them.


  • Ives

    I was taking into account only players who were starting with new teams this season, so Prideaux is the only one on that list who I missed. Kyle Brown will become the 12th when he actually plays for Houston.


  • Justin O

    Ives – While only die hard Revs fans may remember Darren Sawatzky, all Sounders fans do. He scored something like 38 goals for Seattle.


  • JGray

    Unlucky for Super Joe to be on the move so much lately, but he got the best deal in the long run ending up back in San Jose playing where he enjoys it the most. He saved LA from total humiliation last year by playing superb in goal. Still wish Colorado would’ve kept him though.


  • ANM

    From the article,

    And Darren Sawatzky, who saw stints with New England, Dallas and Colorado? Probably only the most die-hard Revs fans recall him ever taking the field.

    Ives, dude, you are so wrong here. Anyone with a passion for atrocious haircuts remembers the Michael Bolton-esque majesty of Darren Sawatzky.


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