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MLS Features the Most Geographically Representative and Youngest Rosters in North American Men’s Sports


NEW YORK (Tuesday, June 4, 2024) – With players from 79 countries across six continents represented on 2024 rosters, Major League Soccer features the most geographically diverse and youthful player pool of any top men’s professional sports across North America.

The 79 countries represented, as determined by birthplace as of May 9, makes MLS the most globally diverse player pool among top North American men’s professional sports leagues. The 79 countries represented in 2024 marks a 44 percent increase from a decade ago (55 countries in 2014), as a diverse group of international players continues to make MLS their league of choice.

The number of countries represented in MLS in 2024 almost doubles that of the next closest top men’s league in North America (NBA, 45 countries represented) and the total is more than the NFL (29), MLB (23), and NHL (22) combined.


Beyond North America, MLS continues to be the most globally representative league among the top men’s soccer leagues around the world, including the English Premier League (69 countries represented), France’s Ligue 1 (68), Italy’s Serie A (65), Spain’s La Liga (60), and Germany’s Bundesliga (54).


In addition to a tremendous pool of international players, MLS continues to offer more opportunities for domestic talent every year. The 2024 season has seen over 375 domestic players competing on MLS rosters, 332 from the United States and 44 from Canada, representing 48.5 percent of the overall player pool. Only La Liga (59.5 percent) and the Bundesliga (54.1 percent) have more than 50 percent of their player pool represented by domestic talent.

MLS today also released data about the average age of MLS players on rosters. As of May 13, the average age of players on MLS rosters was 26.13 years old, also the youngest among the top five North American men’s sports leagues. The NBA is the next closest league at 26.48 years old, followed by the NFL (27.23), MLB (29.15), and the NHL (29.34).

Over 150 players aged 22 and younger have appeared in at least one MLS game during the 2024 season (169 as of May 13). Of the 103 players who have made their MLS debuts this season, the average age is 23.12 years old.


Additional notes on the MLS player pool can be found below:

  • With 35 players, including World Cup champions Thiago Almada (Atlanta United) and Lionel Messi (Inter Miami CF), Argentina has contributed the most players born outside of the U.S. and Canada for the third consecutive year. Brazil (30) and Colombia (29) round out the top five.
  • Three countries that were not represented in 2023 have at least one player in MLS in 2024: Bolivia (Jamir Berdecio, Philadelphia), Guatemala (Nicholas Hagen, Columbus), and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (Kimani Stewart-Baynes, Colorado).
  • Led by 52 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 is the state of New York, which features 31 players in MLS, with New Jersey (19), Florida (18), and Illinois (18) rounding out the top five. Twelve states feature 10-or-more players on MLS rosters.
  • Among United States cities, New York City (11) is the birthplace of the most MLS players, with Seattle (six) and Brooklyn (five) comprising the top three. Five cities are represented by four players apiece: Atlanta, Charlotte, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and St. Louis.
  • Five Canadian provinces feature on MLS rosters – British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec – with Ontario having the largest representation with 27 players. Seventeen MLS players were born in Toronto – the most of any Canadian city – with Montréal following at six players.
  • Notes:
    • Both NBA and NHL rosters were calculated as of the end of the 2023-24 regular season
    • NFL rosters were taken as of the conclusion of Week 18 of the 2023 season
    • MLB rosters were pulled as of May 9, 2024