Offseason trend: American players joining MLS from abroad

Caleb Stanko - FC Cincinnati - strikes ball

Outside of MLS's new position in the global market, as explained by Sam Stejskal, there has been another trend becoming apparent this winter.

A number of American players have joined MLS from abroad; A homecoming of sorts. On Monday, Gedion Zelalem became the latest American to join MLS, signing with Sporting Kansas City after years with Arsenal. 

Before Zelalem, US international midfielders Joe Corona and Kenny Saief joined the growing list last week as Corona signed with the LA Galaxy and Saief joined FC Cincinnati on loan. 

The pair join the likes of US youth internationals Keaton Parks and Juan Pablo Torres with NYCFC; Caleb Stanko and Kekuta Manneh with Cincy; Terrence Boyd with Toronto FC

Behind that quintet, Alejandro Guido and Niko Hamalainen joined LAFC while Quinten Westberg landed with Toronto. 

Parks and Stanko told why the time was right to join MLS.  

“It’s just the best opportunity for me right now," Parks, who joined from Benfica, said. "The league is very strong, it’ll be good for me to grow as a player."

"Cincinnati is brand new, so I get to be a part of a whole new culture and club that can achieve so much," Stanko, who had played in Germany and Liechtenstein, said. "We can have a great season our first year and shoot really high next season.”