Celtic and Rangers stars nominated among MLS greats - but no Steven Gerrard
Two Rangers players, a Celtic striker and a former Parkhead trialist are all in the running to be named among America’s 25 greatest footballers in the Major League Soccer era.
The league has set-up a poll of 200 of the country’s football, or ‘soccer’ experts to choose the 25 best players from the MLS in the organisation’s 25th season.
Among the coveted names of world football including Carlos Valderamma, Thierry Henry, Alexi Lalas, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are four players with Old Firm links, having spent time in Scotland, though current Rangers boss Steven Gerrard is missing from the list.
Rangers fans can get behind former captain Carlos Bocanegra who is among the 137-man shortlist, as is his fellow countryman DaMarcus Beasley.
Both played under Walter Smith in the Ibrox manager’s second spell in charge and amassed 71 appearances between them.
They played stateside with Chicago Fire, while defender Bocanegra also turned out for Chivas USA and Beasley with LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo.
Celtic are represented on the list too, by former loanee Robbie Keane. A former team-mate of Gerrard at both Liverpool and in America at LA Galaxy, the Irish striker is on the list alongside his former Spurs goalkeeper Brad Friedel – who famously trialled at Celtic in the mid-1990s.
The MLS panel will also weigh up the merits of Clint Dempsey, Kaka and David Beckham before electing the 25 best players on December 9 this year and there are also plans to name the best goal scored in the league over the last quarter of a century. Fans will have a say in the decision once the shortlist is revealed.