NEW YORK, NY (Thursday, April 23, 2015) – Major League Soccer continues to be a frontrunner in the field of diversity in its landmark 20th season, boasting the most diverse group of athletes among the five major team sports leagues based in the U.S. as determined by birthplace. As of April 23, a total of 58 countries are represented in the League from its current pool of 551 players.
Nearly half of the players in MLS were born outside of the U.S. and Canada – a total of 236 players hailing from Central America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Caribbean. Argentina and England claim the most MLS representation, providing the League with 22 players each. Standouts include Argentine maestros Javier Morales (RSL), Diego Valeri (POR), Ignacio Piatti (MTL) and English stalwarts Bradley Wright-Phillips (NYRB), Dom Dwyer (SKC) and Liam Ridgewell (POR). The two countries are followed by Brazil (19), Jamaica (18), France (15) and Colombia (14) in contributing the greatest number of players.
This summer, MLS will look to send a record-breaking number of players to the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament that kicks off on July 7 in Dallas, Texas. In 2013, MLS had 32 players named to Gold Cup rosters, tying the MLS record first set in 2011.
MLS Player Maps
World map of players by birthplace
Map of players born in the U.S. and Canada
MLS Player Lists
List of players born abroad
List of players born in the U.S. and Canada
The primary transfer window, in which MLS clubs may acquire players under contract in other countries, closes May 12 with the secondary window re-opening from July 8-August 6. Notable players who are already set to come to MLS this summer are English icons Frank Lampard (NYCFC) and Steven Gerrard (LA Galaxy) and Mexican star Erick “Cubo” Torres (Houston Dynamo). Distinguished players that have recently joined the league include Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Kaká (Orlando City SC), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC), David Villa (NYCFC), Mix Diskerud (NYCFC) and Shaun Maloney (Chicago Fire).