UNITED STATES—Soccer is growing in popularity all across the United States right now and the American offering to the sport, Major League Soccer is growing with it. With the recent additions to the league like Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets, there are more and more foreign eyes on the league, mostly from European nations. In fact, the signing of Messi alone has taken Inter Miami up to a total of 12.5million followers from around 1 million, which is more than all of the other MLS teams combined and their current total makes them the 4th most followed sports franchise in the US, behind only the Golden State Warriors, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Messi effect, ladies and gentlemen.

Today, however, we’re not going to be talking about the huge name superstars, or even the ones who are potentially on their way to the States. No, today we’re talking about a youngster from Vermont who goes by the name of Selmir Miscic. Miscic was born in Burlington, Vermont in January 2003. To begin the story of Miscic, we need to cast our minds back to 2016 where the 20 year old started his youth career with the academy of MLS outfit, Philadelphia Union.

From the MLS teams academy, Selmir Miscic signed his first ever professional soccer contract with Bethlehem Steel who would later become known as Philadelphia Union II. Between 2018 and 2021, Miscic only managed to notch 16 appearances scoring 2 goals. In 2021, Miscic joined USL League One side North Carolina FC on a season long loan. In that season in the USL League One, Miscic beat his appearance total, making 25 appearances and scoring 4 goals. Unfortunately, in December 2021 he was released by Union 2, he went 3-4 months before signing a new professional deal with the MLS Next Pro league team and MLS affiliate, Portland Timbers 2. Since March 2022 he has made 34 appearances and scored 4 goals with 6 assists. From that total however, 11 games and one goal is from 2023.

There’s no denying that Selmir Miscic will be wanting to contribute to the stats a lot more than that and will be pushing himself moving forward to try and make himself an appealing option for those teams in the MLS. Realistically, he’ll be hoping to prove to the Philadelphia Union that cutting him loose from their lower tier team was a mistake. Whether that’s by making a return to Philadelphia or showing them what they’re missing for another team in the MLS. Or even by taking one more step up the ladder and making a senior appearance for the United States Men’s National Team. He hasn’t represented USA at a national level since the U16s where he made 4 appearances and scored 2 goals. Not too bad but not getting a call up since then must really hurt.

So with that being said, the question remains, are there any teams in the MLS right now that could use a player like him? Does he have the ability to help a big franchise grow their midfield presence in a positive way? Well, Miscic is a talented player, he is quick, he’s skillful and has a very impressive workrate. You could compare him to a young James Milner in that regard. If he could add more goals to his game he’d likely be a much more appealing prospect for MLS teams, however when you look at Jordan Henderson who has just left Liverpool for Al-Ettifaq, in 492 games he only scored 33 goals and claimed 58 assists. His main quality was his leadership and being a voice in the changing room. Perhaps Selmir has the ability to establish himself as a leader? However, there’s a possibility that his personality style won’t allow for that.

Miscic doesn’t particularly get a lot of opportunities to put himself out there and other than scouts, I wouldn’t imagine the MLS Next Pro league garners much attention, however he does have a pretty big game coming up against bottom of the Frontier Division, North Texas. This is a game that he can absolutely grab by the scruff of the neck and make his mark on it. Timbers 2 are coming off the back of a 1-0 victory over Whitecaps 2. Granted they won by an own goal, but you’ve got to be making chances to have own goals go your way, right?

As for North Texas, their last outing was against Sporting Kansas City II at home. They took an 11th minute lead through Mulato Jose, but it wasn’t enough. They conceded in the 41st minute from Cruz Sebastian before giving away a penalty in the dying embers of the first half, which Coan Joshua converted. They couldn’t quite come back into it in the second half and as such they head into this game against Miscic’s Timbers 2 team off the back of a loss. So the question remains, how do the experts see this one going?

WIth the upcoming legalization of the Vermont Sports betting scene, here’s what you could expect by checking out all of the best odds on the web. Taking into account recent form and the head to head, the experts think that the Timbers iffy away form is going to have them struggling on their trip to the Choctaw Stadium. So when it comes to the odds, while they do lean in the favor of Texas, there really isn’t a lot to separate the two teams. For Timbers 2, you can get odds of +162, which would see a return of $13.12 from a stake of $5. For Texas, they come in at +137 which sees a return of $11.87 from the same $5 stake. If you think the two teams won’t be separated however, then you can get +240 for a draw. This would see a return of $17 from the $5 stake used above.

So, after our brief look at the career and potential of Selmir Miscic, what do you folks think? Is he doomed to dwell in the reserve league of the MLS? Or will he make a breakthrough and catch the eyes of the big boys in the Major League? At 20 years old he still has a long career ahead of him and he still has every chance of snatching a big opportunity. The question is, where will he go and will he make the most of it? One thing is for certain though, with the growing popularity of Soccer in the States, the future is bright for the Mens National Team.