by Rob Boylan
Brazilian midfielder Kaka, the former European and World Player of the Year (2007) and World Cup winner (2002), belongs to Jesus and the Orlando City Soccer Club now after agreeing with AC Milan to terminate his professional contract.
Kaka, whose full name is Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite (or just Ricky), is the latest European star to come and spend the twilight of their footballing lives in the MLS, joining the likes of David Beckham(LA Galaxy), Thierry Henry (NY Red Bulls), Rafa Marquez (NYRB) and David Villa (NYCFC) in making the same transition that Pele, Giorgio Chinaglia and Franz Beckenbauer in the old NASL in the late 70s and early 80s.
Kaka is not quite the coup that Beckham or Henry were when they signed (both because they were early adopters and still closer to their prime), but is still a great footballer and at 32 years old should still have enough in the tank to make a name for himself despite struggling at Real Madrid and AC Milan the past few seasons.
If nothing else, he brings excitement for the name factor, and should help the MLS gain more recognition internationally.
I do expect him to create his fair share of goals though.
No word on the term or dollars of the contract (which I don't think he's actually signed yet), but he was on a two year, €4m per deal at AC Milan and will certainly be OCSL's designated player (meaning only $400k of his salary will count towards the salary cap).
Kaka will reportedly join his youth side São Paulo in the Brasileirão while waiting for Orlando to join the MLS in 2015.