FIFA study: MLS, American teams in global top 10 in total transfers, fees received in January

Brenden Aaronson - arms extended alone - 2019

From a myopic -- dare I say selfish -- view, it felt as if Major League Soccer had a huge role in the January transfer window across the globe. 

With transfers of Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union to RB Salzburg), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia to KRC Genk), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders to Swansea City), Bryan Reynolds (FC Dallas to AS Roma) and plenty others, it was a historic transfer window for MLS.

Empirically, those feelings can be supported.

In FIFA's "International Transfer Market Snapshot" for January 2021, domestic leagues under the US Soccer umbrella, led by MLS, are in the top 10 for both total numbers of players transferred as well as transfer fees generated. Here's some more info. 

U.S. 4th in total outgoing transfers in January

Clubs under US Soccer transferred 79 players abroad, which was the fourth-most in the world in January. They were tied with France and trailed only Brazil as far as non-European nations. They were easily ahead of perennial exporters of global talent Argentina. 

England and Brazil topped the chart.

U.S. 7th in total transfer revenue generated

Their standing in transfer fees received from international transfers didn't lag far behind the quantity of players moved. Clubs under US Soccer received $24.9 million in transfers in those deals this January. The only non-European country to receive more was Brazil. 

McKenzie and Aaronson are both in the top 20 across the globe for the most lucrative transfers in January. As and others have previously reported, McKenzie was moved in the region of $6 million. That number could climb higher with incentives and includes a sell-on clause. Aaronson's is $6.5 million upfront with "attainable" incentives to take the fee to $9 million and that includes a sell-on fee as well. 

Amad Diallo's move from Atalanta to Manchester United was the most valuable in the world in January.  

The ranking is made all the more impressive for US Soccer clubs given that Reynolds' transfer from Dallas to Roma, which contains the largest guaranteed fee of the window, doesn't count towards the fees generated as it's technically a loan with a mandatory transfer option in the summer. Morris' move to Swansea includes a purchase option, ditto for Brian Rodriguez's loan to UD Almeria from LAFC as well as Daryl Dike's sojourn to Barnsley from Orlando City, should they be made permanent.

Those numbers can climb higher yet. It truly was a historic winter for MLS.