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Where does Kaka’s signing rank in MLS history of mega-deals?

Jun 30, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT

Kaka AP

As Orlando City Soccer Club prepare to unveil Brazilian legend Kaka as their marquee signing ahead of their entry to Major League Soccer in 2015, it is worth contemplating where this deal ranks in the league’s history.

Kaka, a World Cup winner with Brazil and veteran of AC Milan and Real Madrid, terminated his contract with AC Milan on Monday and Orlando have since announced that a “major player announcement” would be made on Tuesday.

[ RELATED: Kaka heading to Orlando City ]

As we look back in the recent history of MLS, since the Designated Player rule arrived in 2007, where will Kaka’s signing rank? Of course the deal is not official yet but by Tuesday morning we should see Kaka in the purple of Orlando.

Below is a list of the top 10 prominent ‘star signings’ in MLS history, with their star power ranked accordingly. Of course some of these players are very new to the league and others players in the past may not have been a huge names coming into MLS (I’m thinking of Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Fredy Montero and a few others) but they certainly had a huge impact. We are just going for the superstar factor here, folks.

Do you agree with this list? Which players would you add into the mix? Let us know in the comments section below.


1. David Beckham

2. Thierry Henry

3. *** Kaka ***

4. David Villa

5. Robbie Keane

6. Clint Dempsey

7. Michael Bradley

8. Tim Cahill

9. Jermain Defoe

10. Juan Pablo Angel

  1. kvillegas - Jun 30, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    I’d put Kaka at #7, and bump up David Villa to 3, Dempsey 4, Bradley 5 and Keane 6. The good news is that 8 of the 10 will be playing in MLS in 2015.

  2. soccergroupie - Jun 30, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    no rafa marquez?

    • soccergroupie - Jun 30, 2014 at 12:38 PM


  3. geejon - Jun 30, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    Mega Deal? He’s been washed up for years. Let’s stop trying to pretend that when it comes to MLS, foreign internationals basically view it as a retirement home with one last decent payday.

  4. vtcrusade - Jun 30, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    I’d probably put Thierry Henry in 1st place. MLS of course isn’t anywhere near the EPL or La Liga for attracting talent, but we’re climbing up the ladder as a world soccer powerhouse. I think in 10 years time MLS will be mentioned in the same breath as Bund and Liga MX

  5. th1sguy0226 - Jun 30, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    Carlos Valderrama?

  6. heynyc61 - Jun 30, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    He’s done. Why is it a big deal

  7. dhagentj - Jun 30, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    Got to think Dempsey would be 3. Keane’s signing didn’t make waves the way his did.

  8. braxtonrob - Jun 30, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    I’m not putting Americans on my list, that defeats the interest in ranking (by fame + performance)

    NASL first
    1. Pele
    2. Giorgio Chinaglia
    3. Franz Beckenbauer
    4. Johan Cruyff

    1. David Beckham
    2. Thierry Henry
    3. Carlos Valderrama
    4. Robbie Keane
    5. Tim Cahill
    6. will be Kaka
    7. David Villa
    8. Marco Etcheverry
    9. Jermain Defoe
    10. Guillermo Barros Schelotto

  9. dkerth01 - Jun 30, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    Carlos valderrama and Temo Blanc belong on that list…. they both did more for mls survival/growth than half those guys. This list is way to biased towards guys coming from Europe and the importance of Latino fans to mls.

    • braxtonrob - Jun 30, 2014 at 6:57 PM

      @dk, Oh shoot, I forgot Cuahtemoc Blanco; yeah, he has to be in the Top 10, easy.

  10. mikeymo74 - Jul 1, 2014 at 12:07 AM

    Kaka has probably had the second best career of those on that list (next to Henry), but I think Villa and Dempsey are bigger signings considering they are still very productive players, having just played and scored in the World Cup.

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