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How Miguel Ibarra almost joined the MLS Cup champions

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Miguel Ibarra has enjoyed modest success since joining Club Leon from NASL side Minnesota United in June. He's been used mainly as a substitute in Liga MX play and a starter in cup matches and has scored a handful of goals. It's been nothing to write home about, but he's not exactly wasting away at the club either.

In what would have been a shocking move, Ibarra almost found himself in MLS this season. Sports Illustrated reports that Club Leon had agreed to loan the sporadically-capped USMNT winger to MLS Cup champion Portland Timbers for the 2016 season, before pulling out of the deal unexpectedly.

Portland have since signed Jack Barmby on loan from Leicester City, so that deal is completely dead. But what a move this would have been if it had come to fruition. Portland are always stacked with talent with Darlington Nagbe, Diego Valeri, and Fanendo Adi leading their attacking. Adding in a player like Ibarra would've almost been unfair. The rest of MLS should be glad that Club Leon changed their minds.

We haven't been able to see much of Ibarra for the United States since his emergence on the scene. In his very few chances he's shown glimpses of being a dynamic player, but the sample size just isn't enough to have firm opinions of him as a player or a legitimate prospect for the USMNT.

It's unfortunate for Ibarra that this move fell apart. Liga MX just isn't a league that Klinsmann has a track record of paying attention to. Playing consistently in MLS would've surely given him a bigger spotlight and a higher chance of a USMNT call-up than being a role player in Mexico.