Background: Though not an American (Predrag Radosavljevic was born in Serbia), “Preki” has been as important to MLS – and American soccer – as almost any other player. The man was 33 before he took the pitch in a MLS game for the first time, yet he still belongs in the Hall of Fame. Why? Well, there have been few better Captains in MLS history.
Career: After spending years dominating the indoor circuit, Preki came to MLS (via KCW) in its inaugural 1996 season. Over the next eleven years, he would dominate many MLS defenses with disquieting ease. How good was he? 3rd on the all-time assist table (112), 4th in shots on goal (over 300), 3rd in shots (over 770), and 10th in goals.
Honors: Well, let’s see. He won an MLS Cup with KC (2000), and he was named to the MLS All-Time Best XI roster. He’s also the only two-time MVP Award winnner (1997 and 2003) and two-time MLS Golden Boot winner. Now, he appears to be an even better coach for the Goats than he was a player for the Wiz. In short, he’s one of MLS’s all-time greats.
Legacy: Preki’s legacy continues to grow, but he is already one of the league’s most cherished players. Though I mentioned he wasn’t technically an American, he did play for our National Team, which is yet another reason I love him. He is a great example of the type of player MLS should be recruiting, which is another reason he made this list.