Influx of Costa Ricans into MLS continues heading into 2017 season

Francisco Calvo - Saprissa - Minnesota United - heads ball vs. Portland in CCL

There's nearly a full Costa Rica national team squad playing in MLS, and the flow of Ticos into the league could well continue.

Francisco Calvo is the latest of his countrymen to officially make the move north, with the defender having signed with Minnesota United on December 28. The former Saprissa man is the fourth Costa Rican to move to MLS this offseason.

The arrivals may not stop there – Saprissa forward Daniel Colindres has been linked to four MLS clubs, while former New York Red Bulls defender Roy Miller has been linked with a return back to the league with the Portland Timbers. Another player from Saprissa, who just won a record 33rd Costa Rican title, that has been linked with a move Stateside is midfielder Marvin Angulo.

The number of players moving to and linked with MLS may seem surprising, but anyone who's followed the league over the last couple years will tell you that the Tico influence here is far from a new thing.

Alvaro Saborio, who departed the league this winter after eight seasons, is one of the most prolific strikers in MLS history, having scored 73 goals in just 158 games. In the process he helped lead Real Salt Lake five-straight MLS Cup Playoff appearances before being traded to D.C. United.

And while Saborio wasn't the first Tico to join MLS, he is perhaps the most successful. Recently there has been an influx of Costa Ricans into MLS with players like Kendall Waston, Ronald Matarrita and Waylon Francis proving to be consistent contributors to their teams.

Costa Ricans entering MLS in 2017

David Guzman (Portland Timbers)
Jose Guillermo Ortiz (D.C. United)
Jose Salvatierra (FC Dallas)
Francisco Calvo (Minnesota United FC)

Costa Ricans already on MLS rosters

Christian Bolaños (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
Dennis Castillo (Colorado Rapids)
Waylon Francis (Columbus Crew SC)
Ariel Lassiter (LA Galaxy)
Ronald Matarrita (New York City FC)
Johan Venegas (Minnesota United FC)
Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)