In November 2020, Diego Rossi of LAFC made headlines when he was awarded the 2020 AT&T MLS Young Player of the Year title. The award, given to players 22 years old and under who are active on an MLS roster, is the latest accolade in the striker’s career with LAFC.
Diego Rossi Returns to LAFC Amid Reading Talk
For the soccer fans who’ve been following the Uruguayan player’s career, the award came as no surprise following his nab of the Golden Boot award after sinking fourteen goals and four assists for his team. Since joining LAFC in 2017, Rossi has become the squad’s premier goal scorer and a budding fan favorite.
His performance in the MLS is Back Tournament saw him take home other awards, as well, such as the Young Player of the Tournament and the tournament’s Best XI award. For Rossi, the development of his skill and career is one of the most promising in the US league. But for others, his performance represents the evolving tier of talent in the MLS.
There were even rumors that Rossi may transfer to Championship’s Reading FC during the English league’s transfer window. Though the Uruguayan striker will stay with LAFC, the rumors highlighted a new direction for the MLS. Now that the league has gained a new generation of skilled talent in the US, players like Rossi may stay in the US league rather than transfer abroad.
North American soccer has also received more attention from US sports analysts who offer wagers alongside the Premier League to the Bundesliga, especially now that there’s a betting boom taking place across the States. The more wagers offered on the MLS, the more attention the league receives from fans looking to bet on a game.
Rumors Between LA & Reading
Hanging in the middle of the Championship pack right now, Reading FC could use a player like Rossi to help boost their goal-scoring abilities. As the squad looks to dominate the Championship and look for a promotion back to the Premier League, powerful strikers at the start of their career like Rossi are on every fan’s wish list.
In December, rumors from Sky Sports hinted Rossi would be signing on the Reading. Given Reading’s manager, Veljko Paunović (recently awarded with Championship Manager of the Month) is also an Uruguayan national, many thought the deal would go through.
As the clock ticked down, rumors surfaced that Reading may even option a €9m buyout for Rossi rather than a loan. Unfortunately for fans who took to Twitter and other social media pages to speculate, the transfer window passed and Rossi signed on for another year with LAFC.
A Future Jump to the Premier League?
Though Rossi remains stateside, it may not be the case for long. Recently, Gio Reyna excited the soccer world by making a major debut in the Bundesliga. The son of one of the best US players in recent decades, Claudio Reyna, Gio was recently named 2020 US Soccer Young Male Player of the Year after a promising debut with the US Men’s National Team.
Reyna currently plays for Borussia in the Bundesliga and has a promising career ahead of him. A few years ahead of Reyna, Rossi has done well to establish himself in Los Angeles. In fact, he scored the team’s first-ever franchise goal in the club’s 2018 debut against the Seattle Sounders FC (which holds the record for the fastest goal for a new club in MLS history).
Since then, Rossi has continued to establish himself as the leader of LAFC. A move to the Championship may be a step up in competition, but would the move be worth sacrificing the work put into building a team like LAFC? In other words, would Rossi want to leave behind the possibility of building a championship-winning MLS team for Reading FC?
At the moment, the MLS is poised to establish a competitive league with more than a few squads capable of taking home a championship title. Should players like Rossi remain stateside, the MLS will develop faster and leaner.