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When Colombian midfielder Juan Toja left FC Dallas for Steaua Bucharest via transfer this summer, the transaction went relatively ignored, overshadowed by the reports and rumors surrounding Kenny Cooper’s potential departure, as well as other MLS transfers in the works. Less than three months later, the move is starting to have more significance than people realize.
Toja has enjoyed success with Steaua, earning playing time in the UEFA Champions League and showing enough to earn a call-up by the Colombian national team for important World Cup qualifiers against Paraguay and Brazil this month. These developments are very important because they show that a young foreign player can come to MLS and play well enough to make the next step to Europe and to their national team.
This is crucial for the league’s efforts to attract young talent from across the globe because the path from MLS to Europe has been dominated by young Americans. Players such as Amado Guevara and Carlos Ruiz have come to MLS and done well but actually having a young foreign player take the path that Toja did, and successful use MLS as a stepping stone, is only going to help more young foreign talents choose to give MLS a try.
What do you think of this development? Do you believe Toja will be a trailblazer, paving the way for more young foreign talent? Share your thoughts below.