With the January transfer window now open, here are five players from MLS who could make the move across the Atlantic this winter.
Castillo, 23, originally joined Dallas in March 2011 from boyhood club Deportivo Cali and has since made 145 MLS appearances, while recording 30 goals and 24 assists in the process.
Arguably the league’s fastest player, the Colombian winger enjoyed a breakout 2014 campaign, when he bagged a career-high 10 goals, and he took another big step forward last term.
The skilful speedster scored nine times and added nine assists in 30 regular season games to help Dallas finish atop the Western Conference, while he was also named the top prospect in MLS on MLSSoccer.com’s annual “24 Under 24” list after making his first All-Star Game appearance in the summer against Tottenham Hotspur.
His impressive performances even saw him receive his first senior international call-up in September, and after going on to earn three caps over recent months, rumours of a move overseas are starting to gather pace.
Swansea City have recently been named as potential suitors, despite possible work permit issues, but they could face strong competition for his £5 million-rated signature from Mexican giants Club America [h/t ESPN.com.mx].
Lawrence, 23, joined the Red Bulls from Harbour View FC in his native Jamaica last March after impressing during a preseason trial and soon established himself as one of the top left-backs in MLS.
The 26-times capped international proved instrumental in helping the club win the 2015 Supporters’ Shield as the team with the best regular season record, while he also starred during Jamaica’s run the CONCACAF Gold Cup final in the summer.
The pacey full-back was also similarly impressive for the Reggae Boyz at the 2015 Copa America, when he received widespread praise for his performances during the group stages.
“I haven't seen a better left-back in the entire tournament," South American football expert Tim Vickery told BBC Radio 5 Live’s World Football Phone-in after seeing Lawrence stifle Lionel Messi in Jamaica’s 1-0 defeat to Argentina.
“A Premier League club should have a look at him. He looks really, really impressive."
Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls)
Miazga, 20, enjoyed a stellar 2015 campaign in MLS, as he not only established himself as a regular starter for his hometown Red Bulls but also finished fourth in the voting for the league’s Defender of the Year award.
The 6ft 3in centre-back’s impressive performances even saw him make his US national team debut in November’s opening World Cup qualifier against Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, while he was later named US Soccer’s Young Male Player of the Year last month.
Unsurprisingly, his meteoric rise has already led to rumours that the New Jersey native could soon be heading overseas, and as testament to his Premier League potential, the likes of Chelsea, Leicester and Stoke City have all recently been named as possible destinations [h/t FourFourTwo].
The youngster, who holds a Polish passport by way of his parents, has reportedly turned down offers on a new Red Bulls contract [h/t Yahoo Sports], and with just one season left to run on his current deal, the club could well be forced to cash in on his services this winter.
Furthermore, Goal USA’s Ives Galarcep reported in December that the promising stopper signed with an agency backed by the infamous Kia Joorabchian after catching the eye at the Under-20 World Cup last summer and is now being shopped around England.
Oyongo, 24, originally joined Montreal via trade from the New York Red Bulls in January, having recorded five assists in 18 appearances during his first season in MLS, but a drawn-out contract saga saw him make a late start to the 2015 campaign.
The promising left-back had spent 2014 on loan at the Red Bulls from Rainbow FC in his native Cameroon before joining the club on a permanent basis, and his representatives were from pleased when he was traded without prior consent just two weeks later.
Fortunately, the mess was eventually resolved in May when Oyongo ended a three-month hold-out, but having since wasted no time in showcasing his clear promise, it might not be long before he is on the move again.
The versatile international, who played most of 2015 at right-back, was allegedly on Celtic’s radar last winter following a strong African Cup of Nations campaign [h/t L'Equipe], while more recent reports have linked him with Burnley and Derby County [h/t Yahoo Sports].
Powers, 24, spent four weeks on trial with Reading between November and December, but despite making a positive impression, the American midfielder’s hopes of landing a move to the Madejski Stadium now look to have been dashed with the sacking of Steve Clarke last month.
Brian McDermott has since taken charge of the club for a second time and Get Reading claims that the new boss does not intend to follow up his predecessor’s interest in the 2013 MLS Rookie of the Year.
However, that does not necessarily mean that he will be staying in Colorado for 2016, having established himself as one of the league’s most promising domestic prospects since being selected out of Notre Dame with the 11th overall pick in the 2013 SuperDraft.
The former US Under-20 international, who has recorded 13 goals and 21 assists in 92 regular season appearances for the Rapids, has been linked with Serie A sides Atalanta and Palermo in the past and also been open about his desire to move to Europe since securing an Italian passport last winter [h/t MLSsoccer.com].
A strong but skilful two-way player with a nose for goal, there are plenty of other English clubs aside from Reading who would be wise to look to him.