Biggest Signings in MLS History
With the Red Bulls' signing of Mexico captain Rafa Marquez, we put together a list of the biggest signings in MLS history. Note, this isn't a list of the best signings, it's a list of those perceived to have the biggest star power based on age and name recognition at the time of their arrivals: Arguably the most famous soccer player ever, former Manchester United and Real Madrid star joined MLS at age 32. His signing produced shockwaves around the world and catapulted MLS into the limelight.
One of the most decorated players in history, Henry is a World Cup winner with France, and Arsenal's all-time leading goalscorer with 226 goals in all competitions and nominated for the FIFA World Player of the Year twice.
Only 31, the Mexican national team captain is in the prime of his career as captain of El Tri since the 2002 World Cup and capped 94 times by his country.
One of the great South American playmakers of all time, Colombian Valderrama joined MLS at age 35 and played for nine seasons, and is the league's second all-time leader in assists with 114.
The oft-controversial El Tri playmaker joined MLS in 2007 and was a finalist for MVP in 2007. Finished his career with the Fire in '09 with 16 goals in 62 appearances.
The temperamental Bulgarian legend joined the Fire in 2000 at age 34 and played in MLS for 5 seasons, registering 22 goals in 72 appearances.
The Germany and Bayern Munich legend joined in MLS in 2000 at age 39 but his signing proved to be a disaster with Mattheus clearly unmotivated and plagued by a poor attitude.
A former teammate of Henry at Arsenal, Ljungberg joined MLS at age 32 is regarded as one of the finest Swedish players ever and also an iconic figure in brand marketing, moonlighting as a Calvin Klein model.
Bolivian playmaker Etcheverry joined MLS at age 26 and would become one of the greatest stars in MLS history, winning 3 MLS Cups and being named MLS MVP in 1998.
Aged 37, the former France an Inter Milan world Cup winner Djorkaeff landed with the Metrostars in '05 and becoming the first French player to play in MLS, ending the season as the team's MVP.