NEW YORK (Wednesday, May 24, 2023) – With players from 81 countries across six continents represented on 2023 rosters, Major League Soccer features the most geographically diverse and youthful player pool of any top men’s professional league across North America.
The 81 countries represented, as determined by birthplace as of April 20, marks the second consecutive year that players from 80 or more countries have appeared on MLS rosters and makes MLS the most globally diverse player pool among top North American men’s professional sports leagues.
The number of countries represented in MLS in 2023 is nearly double that of the next closest top men’s league in North America (NBA, 45 countries represented) and the total is more than the NFL (31 countries represented), NHL (25 countries represented), and MLB (21 countries represented) combined.
Beyond North America, MLS is also the most globally represented league among the top men’s soccer leagues around the world, including Italy’s Serie A (69 countries represented), the English Premier League (66), France’s Ligue 1 (63), Germany’s Bundesliga (61), and Spain’s LaLiga (59).
While reflecting the deep talent pool in the United States and Canada, Major League Soccer continues to offer more opportunities for domestic talent every year. The 2023 season has seen nearly 400 domestic players competing on MLS rosters, 348 from the United States and 46 from Canada, a figure that has increased by nearly 20 percent over the past five years.
With 37 players, Argentina has contributed the most players born outside of the U.S. and Canada for the second consecutive year. Brazil (36) and Colombia (32) round out the top five, with France (20) as the only other country with at least 20 players.
MLS today also released data about the average age of MLS players on rosters. As of April 20, the average age of players on MLS rosters was 26 years, 129 days old, also the youngest among the top five North American men’s sports leagues. The NBA is the next closest league at 26 years, 167 days old.
Led by 61 players born in the state of California, 39 of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia are represented on MLS rosters. Following California, only two other states boast at least 20 players: New York (28) and Florida (22). Illinois (19) and Pennsylvania (18) complete the top five.
Among United States cities, New York City (11) is the birthplace of the most MLS players, with St. Louis (seven), Las Vegas (six), Seattle (six), and Chicago (five) rounding out the top five.
Five Canadian provinces feature on MLS rosters – British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec – with Ontario having the largest representation with 25 players.