Players from 66 nations represented in MLS

Major League Soccer is represented by players from 66 different countries. Photo: Jamaican goalie Donovan Ricketts: Credit AP

WASHINGTON, April 17, 2012 — Major League Soccer is represented by players from 66 different countries. Of the 540 players in MLS under contract, nearly 60 percent were born in the United States and Canada, while others are citizens or permanent residents of the league’s two host nations. Those born abroad represent the most diverse group of athletes among any of the top five team sports leagues in the United States.

Colombia is the largest nation outside of the two host countries that is represented in MLS with 31 players, followed by Brazil 16, Jamaica 14, and England 11, while Argentina, Mexico and Costa Rica all have nine players in the league. Ghana is the represented by eight players, while there are seven French players. 

Click here to see the MLS Players by birthplace map.   

Here’s how the top four American sports stack up with their players’ birthplaces:   

MLB (2011): 1041 total players; players born abroad (percentage born outside U.S.A. & Canada): 262, (25.17%); countries represented, (outside U.S.A. & Canada): 16. 

NFL (2011):  2021 total players; players born abroad (percentage born outside U.S.A. & Canada): 62,  (3.07%); countries represented, (outside U.S.A. & Canada):  26. 

NBA (2011-2012): 438 total players; players born abroad percentage born outside U.S.A. & Canada): 80 (18.26%); countries represented, (outside U.S.A. & Canada): 38. 

NHL (2011-2012): 815 total players; players born abroad percentage born outside U.S.A. & Canada): 195 (23.92%); countries represented, (outside U.S.A. & Canada): 18.

*Courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau 

In other news:

On Monday, the transfer window closed for all Major League Soccer clubs. Although MLS clubs will have to wait until the next transfer window to open on June 27 to add players who are currently under contract in other leagues around the world, any player who was out of contract while the primary transfer window was open may still be signed and added to an MLS roster at any time.

D.C. United today announced that the club’s reserve league matchup against the New York Red Bulls, originally set for Monday, April 23, has been postponed. 

 

 


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John Haydon

John Haydon has covered soccer for The Washington Times for two decades. He has reported on international soccer events in Germany, South Korea and Spain. John hails from Birmingham, England and has lived in the Washington D.C. region for over twenty years.  

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