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Dear England’s Daily Mirror: No, we are not as enamored with Rio Ferdinand as you think

Jan 27, 2014, 6:28 PM EDT

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Rio Ferdinand was a very good central defender in his day. So, no offense here, but …

The guy is 35, well into the winter of his career. Plus, he was always subject to the same kind of mass media over-valuation, over-hype and overrating that typically comes attached to so many England players.

All of this is to say to England’s Daily Mirror (suggested motto: “We report rumors and hearsay – heck, some of it has to be right!”): No, we aren’t such a soccer backwater that we believe Ferdinand is a U.S. star in the waiting.

This bit of journalism hooey says Ferdinand’s “stock has never been higher in the US and he is giving it serious consideration.”  It also refers to “the MLS,” which wasn’t and never has been a correct reference. But, hey, they’ve only had 19 years to get that one right, so we’ll slide ‘em a little slack.

More specifically: There is not one bit of truth to the silly, self-important notion in this story that Ferdinand would “become the league’s biggest star since David Beckham.”

I’m thinking that moniker belongs to Thierry Henry. Surely the Mirror writers have heard of that guy, a World Cup and European Championship winner who scored a goal here and there for Arsenal.

Or even Clint Dempsey (as the biggest MLS star since Beckham). Heck, I’d put Kasey Keller, Michael Bradley, Robbie Keane, Jermain Defoe and maybe some others ahead of Ferdinand in terms of name recognition in our part of the world. We are not as enamored with former England internationals (the ones not named Beckham, that is) as you seem to think. Sorry to break that to you.

We are especially not enamored with former England international center backs. England midfielder Frank Lampard might be a different story if he were ever to make his way to MLS. Then again, Lampard is still a relevant figure with a Premier League contender.

By the way, some of the Ferdinand-to-MLS reports have linked the center back with the LA Galaxy. Of course they do; about half of all these silly season reports link so-and-so with the Galaxy, never mind that Los Angeles is full up on Designated Player roster spots. I mean, “details, details,” right?

Plus, the Galaxy has already shot those reports down.

  1. unclemosesgreen - Jan 27, 2014 at 7:01 PM

    P.S. – “the MLS” is no longer a place for any old foreign international to come before retiring. Also, “the MLS” is full of strikers fast enough to give Rio Ferdinand fits.

  2. efnames - Jan 27, 2014 at 7:15 PM

    Wow. Such a needlessly ugly, unpleasant and obnoxious article. There is some truth in your comment about English players being overrated and I certainly am not surprised by the Mirror writing incorrect rubbish. But Rio was legitimately one of the finest defenders of his generation and ironically one of the few English players to constantly be under valued by a public and media who preferred the more old fashioned and less cultured style of John Terry.

    Regardless of his ability, I suggest you lose the chip on your shoulder. Enjoy the sport for what it is and continue to be proud of your league. Such bitter articles reflect poorly on you.

    • ydj1120 - Jan 27, 2014 at 7:41 PM

      Agreed. It is unnecessary to respond to every perceived slight of Major League Soccer. The steadily-rising level of play speaks for itself, as do the recent high-profile transfers mentioned in the article.

  3. hughmauberley - Jan 27, 2014 at 9:26 PM

    I get the point you make, and completely agree by the way, but there is no reason to adopt such a petulant tone. There’s a rational, mature way to state your argument without descending to this level.

  4. midtec2005 - Jan 28, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    The English rumor mill is pretty notorious. Maybe Steve is just trying to talk to them at a level they will understand 😉

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