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Messi to Miami, But Please No Ronaldo to Sporting KC

Lionel Messi is coming to Major League Soccer (probably). Is Cristiano Ronaldo right behind him and where would he land?

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Credit: Thad Bell

You may have heard some big news recently. Some guy named Lionel Messi is coming to Major League Soccer and joining the worst team in the Eastern Conference, Inter Miami CF. Even Sporting Kansas City, who were winless through 10-games, have more points than Miami.

Messi himself said it, along with numerous other reports. There are tons of stories and podcasts about it, so I won’t beat it to death. Obviously, it’s good for the league, it’s good for Miami and it may even be good for other clubs (depending on how many of these new eyes stay on MLS).

I’m a little annoyed they are changing the rules to allow Miami to do this (they don’t have an open Designated Player spot), but I assume they would have made it work for Sporting Kansas City if they’d have gotten Cristiano Ronaldo as well. Maybe.

Ronaldo to MLS Too?!?

Speaking of Ronaldo, you can’t hear about Messi without hearing about him. Known soccer reporters over at Forbes magazine are reporting that Ronaldo wants out of Saudi Arabia. They picked up on reports from other outlets that Ronaldo is “already fed up of life in Saudi Arabia after struggling to adapt to the local culture.”

He would have to get out of the two-and-a-half-year deal with Al-Nassr. If he can, there is apparently an “MLS club [that] reportedly [looked] into signing” him. When you hear that, you can be excused if your mind goes to Sporting KC, who were heavily linked to the star at the beginning of the year (we even did an Emergency Podcast on it).

While it would undoubtedly sell a lot of Sporting Blue jerseys (and Indigo for that matter), it just seems like a disaster waiting to happen. He just joined his most recent club a few months ago and he already wants out. After coming over to Manchester United from Juventus, he was gone a little over a year later, causing controversy the whole way. He was also a distraction for Portugal when he was moved to the bench during the World Cup.

Add to that his past criminal allegations against him, from rape charges to tax evasion. Plus, I cannot imagine him standing up to the media scrutiny in America versus what he’s used to overseas, particularly the complete lack of scrutiny for his behavior towards women he’s been receiving in the Middle East.

Let’s not forget, he’s 38-years-old. Three years older than Messi, who many are predicting will only stick in Miami for 18-months. He’s undoubtedly lost a step (even if he’s still probably better than a ton of MLS players). He also seems to be a bad teammate with a bad defensive work rate. We all made the jokes of how he’ll react the first time Peter Vermes benches him.

He seems like he’d be a locker room cancer on a team that has a culture to die for. Through thick and (extremely) thin, Sporting KC have stuck together. People judge Alan Pulido for his unique clothing selection and fancy cars, but he’s a hustler. He works incredibly hard, and I question if at 38, Ronaldo will work half as hard.

MLS may change the rules to let this happen, but if they don’t, the math absolutely doesn’t add up. Sporting KC would have to make drastic moves to make him fit into their budget. Not to mention the small inconvenience of trading away their last international roster spot. Plus, where does he even line up in this system? Would they sell Pulido and play him at striker?

I will admit I was enamored with the Ronaldo rumor as much as anyone, but that was just the shock of the moment.

Not to mention the September 9th meeting between Sporting KC and Inter Miami CF falls during an international window, and it’s possible neither player would even be with their club (though, MLS can move that game if this does happen, right!?!?).

For me, this is a hard pass on Ronaldo. If he does get out of his deal though, where might he end up in MLS? I think LAFC have an open Designated Player spot for him to come ruin that team. Or help them win back-to-back titles. Their owner could send a gold version of this Tweet.

What do you think? Do you want Ronaldo in Kansas City? What are your thoughts on the Messi deal?

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