Some people regard Major League Soccer in America as a retirement home, a place where footballers go for one last pay-day before calling it a day.
The image as a whole is changing, with the likes of Thierry Henry, Robbie Keane and Clint Dempsey trying to improve the way the world sees the league. However, with Chicago Fire apparently close to completing a deal to sign former Liverpool striker Florent Sinama-Pongolle, it’s hard to see how that benefits the long-term integrity of the league.
The French born forward is only 29 years old, so there is the argument that he still has a few years left in the tank, hopefully years that he can play professionally and add something to the club that signs him.
However, recent signs indicate that Sinama-Pongolle will not add much value to any club as his career is on the decline and you would have to hope that Chicago Fire aren’t putting hope in the former Liverpool player becoming a star for them.
Right now the forward is only training with the club, as confirmed by Technical Director Brian Bliss, and the Fire would become his 10th club in 13 years if he signs.
Without doubt the highlight of his career came while playing for Recreativo in Spain from 2006-2008 – in which he scored 22 goals over two seasons.
Sinama-Pongolle came through the ranks at the very highly rated Le Havre youth academy, the same club that Juventus star Paul Pogba graduated from. After two seasons in France, one of which was in Ligue 1, he moved to Liverpool with teammate Anthony Le Tallec.
Both players were classed as flops, his biggest moment at Anfield was scoring the equaliser against Olympiacos, with the club coming back to win 3-1 and eventually lifting the trophy against AC Milan.
He returned to France in 2011 with Saint-Etienne, but after 23 games, he only managed four goals and was let go by the club.
Club number nine was FC Rostov in Russia, and it showed the complete decline on the player, he only managed 11 games over two seasons and found the back of the net just once. He has been back training with Le Havre to keep fit and this move to America could be his last chance at making a name for himself.
Nothing that he has done for the past five years gives you much hope for the 29-year-old, but America is the land of opportunity and the move to MLS could just be the step needed for the striker to find his feet once again.