Major League Soccer is continuing to grow. It is becoming more of a destination for foreign players to come and show their talents. Most people would think the majority of players that make up the MLS are from USA. There are currently 295 players in the MLS that were born in America, but they do not even make up half the league.
In my analysis of the 2018 MLS season rosters, 356 players (55%) of the league is actually made up of international players. These foreign players come from 67 countries all around the world. Those countries are also from 6 different continents. This is proof that the MLS is expanding its demographic.
Of all the foreign countries, Canada leads the way with 37 players in the MLS. The runner ups are Argentina and the 2018 World Cup Champions - France at 24 players. Rounding out the top ten foreign countries are England (21), Ghana (17), Colombia (16), Brazil (13), Costa Rica (13), Venezuela (11), with Spain (10) and Uruguay (10) tied for tenth. My prediction is these numbers will continue to trend upward.
With the growing diversity of the league, the diversity of each team is also apparent. 20 of the 23 MLS teams have players from 10 or more countries. Tied for the most, both New York City FC and Seattle Sounders have players from 16 countries. The east and west coast are both represented here. FC Dallas and Los Angeles FC are tied with the second most with 14 countries. Minnesota United FC, New England Revolution, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, and San Jose Earthquakes all have players from 13 countries.
The MLS will continue to grow the league with more international players. This can only benefit the league to reach out to a wider audience. It also presents more opportunity for the many international players looking to make a club roster. The MLS is a proven destination for players all around the world.
BY: JEFF LEONG