5. Serge Atakayi (Rangers)
The Congolese born Finnish national Serge Atakayi is very much an unknown, unproven young player in the Rangers FC youth system. However, he is highly touted by scouts and is said to have pace and technical ability, as well as bags of potential. Being so young and unproven means that Atakayi would most likely be available for an extremely reasonable price. The tough part of finding a diamond in the rough is taking a chance on an unpolished player, but if Serge Atakayi is able to reach his potential the diminutive price tag would figure to be quite the bargain.
4. Javier Aquino (Tigres)
The Mexican national Javier Aquino, in contrast to the previous entry to this list, is more of a known quantity. The 28-year-old has 53 caps for El Tri and has gained the reputation as an extremely pacey and technical winger scoring 19 goals in his latest stint in Liga MX. The 28 year old would be a good attacking option for the River City side and would most likely come at a very affordable price.
3. Tim Weah (PSG)
Tim Weah is a young American player who we here at Talk Austin FC are very, very excited about. The USMNT/PSG youngster has bags of pace, technical ability, and an eye for goal as he demonstrated against for the USMNT against Bolivia recently. Despite his obvious talent and potential, Weah has only managed three Ligue 1 appearances for Paris, meaning he would likely jump at the chance for a loan and first-team football, which AFC could likely offer him. Tim Weah would also be sure to be a supporter favorite, being one of the bright young stars for the American national team.
2. Joe Corona (Tijuana)
Joe Corona has had quite an interesting career in that he has never really reached his full potential. Having won 23 caps for the USMNT scoring 3 in the process. Corona is silky on the ball and has obvious vision and technical ability and yet has never reached the lofty heights that we here at TAFC believe him to be capable of. Corona would likely be available for a move as well, having a history of being loaned out multiple times by his parent club Tijuana, and for a reasonable price to boot! A move to the MLS could be just what Corona needs to really emerge as a star and a leader, and he would fit right in at the central Texas club being both Mexican and American.
1. Guillermo Ochoa (Standard Liège)
Guillermo ‘Memo’ Ochoa… what an enigma of a player. Despite having what could be called a patchy club history, looking good one game and lost in the next, has been quite consistent for El Tri. In the 2014 World Cup Ochoa was on another level and was arguable the best keeper in the tournament and after another strong outing in Russia, we are convinced that Austin FC would be lucky to sign a man of his talents. The 33-year-old Mexican is valued at around $4.5 million which, while a hefty price for an MLS club, would be totally worth a good couple years of indisputably solid goalkeeping, especially with Zack Steffan reportedly on the move to Europe.
Bonus: Javier Hernandez (West Ham)
Well, I’ll just come out and say it; this is 100% wishful thinking on our part. We all know Chicharito and his natural talent for finding goals. One of the most prolific Mexican goal scorers in recent history, the 30-year-old Hernandez likely has at least three more years at the top level of European soccer before I believe he would begin to consider a move to an up and coming league like the MLS. But humor me here: Chicharito comes to Texas, to a team with a strong Mexican-American presence in its fanbase, and lights up the MLS, taking the golden boot and leading our first-year club to an MLS Cup. That’s the stuff of dreams right there…
(Serge Atakayi photo from http://www.zimbio.com/photos/Serge+Atakayi/Dougie+Nyaupembe)