With so many European stars moving across the Atlantic to play in Major League Soccer (MLS), it is no surprise that the North American league is gaining worldwide attention and curiosity.
So, if you have been interested in following a MLS club, but did not know where or how to start, you are in luck! Forza Italian Football has put together this handy guide of all Italian players currently playing in the United States and Canada, to help you make an informed decision on which team to start following.
And don’t worry, if after reading this, you still can’t decide which club you want to buy a scarf for, there’s always LA Galaxy, whose current squad includes former AC Milan star Nigel de Jong and former Roma photobomber Ashley Cole (along with Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard, and Giovani dos Santos).
Background: Born April 21, 1983 (32 years old) in Conegliano.
Current Team: Montreal Impact.
Previous Team(s): Best known for his time at Fiorentina, Donadel has actually played for numerous clubs across Italy, including Milan and Napoli, with loans to Lecce, Parma, Sampdoria, and Hellas Verona.
What to Watch Out For: Donadel has already found his stride with the Canadian club, contributing to several important wins. One of his most memorial moments in the 2015 season was a goal-resulting-assist to Didier Drogba, which secured Montreal’s progression in the 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Interesting Fact: Donadel is by no means the first Italian to play for Montreal. Owned by Joey Saputo, an Italian-Canadian businessman who is also the Chairman of Bologna, other Azzurri nationals and club-level players to previously play in Quebec include Marco Di Vaio, Alessandro Nesta, Matteo Ferrari, Bernardo Corradi, while Daniele Paponi and Andrea Pisanu spent tim there on loan.
Current Team: Toronto FC.
Previous Team(s): While he played for his home club Juventus, Giovinco showed his potential much more while on loan to Empoli and Parma.
Background: Born January 26 1987 (29 years old) in Turin.
Position: Attacking Midfield / Striker.
What to Watch Out For: Whether or not he leaves Toronto (and MLS in general) if he’s not called up for the 2016 UEFA European Championship to represent the Italian National Team. Despite making headlines across North America, Antonio Conte did not include the honourary Torontonian in his squad for the most recent International Break.
Interesting Fact: The Atomic Ant had a banner year last season for the Toronto club, winning literally every award he was eligible for. This includes MLS Newcomer of the Year Award, MLS MVP Award, MLS Golden Boot, and the MLS Top Assist Provider, while earning the MLS single-season points record (his goals and assists had a combined total of 38 points). Additionally, he was named as an MLS All-Star and was included in the MLS Best XI, as well as various Team of the Week/Month’s. He’s also been photographed hanging out with Drake.