As of this Tuesday, Major League Soccer has seen 68 players called in from 26 of 27 MLS clubs to represent their home countries in international competition during this FIFA international window. That tally features 35 players tabbed for World Cup qualifying matches, including the 10 called up by Canada alone, and a record seven MLS players joining squads for UEFA European Football Championships, which begin on June 11.
When Concacaf Nations League Finals begin this Wednesday, MLS clubs will lend 14 total players to four national teams in the region, as anticipation is high for top MLS talent to be included on the Copa America 28-man rosters set to be announced later this week.
A regularly updated list of MLS call-ups is available in MLS Media Resources.
MLS International Call-Ups By The Numbers (As of Tuesday, June 1)
68: Total number of MLS players called up for national team competitions
35: Total number of MLS players called up for World Cup qualifying games
26: Number of MLS teams with players competing internationally
14: Total number of MLS players called up for Concacaf Nations League
10: Most MLS players called up by a single country (Canada)
7: Number of players called up to compete in Euro 2020 (3 Finland, 2 Hungary, 1 Poland, 1 Slovakia)
6: Most non-North American players called in by any one country (Venezuela)
5: Most players called up from a single MLS team (Columbus Crew; Toronto FC)
3: Most MLS players in history called into a single squad for Euros (Finland)
Canada Announces MLS Heavy Roster Ahead of World Cup Qualifiers
Canada Soccer announced their initial roster ahead of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifiers on Saturday. The initial 24-man roster includes 10 Major League Soccer stars [Dayne St. Clair (Minnesota United FC), Alistair Johnston (Nashville SC), Richie Laryea (Toronto FC), Jonathan Osorio (Toronto FC), Samuel Piette (CF Montreal), Tajon Buchanan (New England Revolution), Lucas Cavallini (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)] including three who developed in MLS academy programs [James Pantemis (CF Montreal), Liam Fraser (on loan with Columbus Crew SC), Mark Anthony-Kaye (Los Angeles FC)]. An additional handful on the squad spent at least a portion of their youth career in MLS academy programs (Doneil Henry, Sam Adekugbe, Alphonso Davies, Theo Corbeanu) or found their stride through appearances with an MLS first team (Cyle Larin) prior to moving abroad.
After announcing the squad for the World Cup qualifying matches, Canada Soccer announced 11 additional MLS players will be training with the team in Florida ahead of a busy Summer of Soccer. With the June 5 match being played at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla, head coach of the Canadian National Team John Herdman has taken the opportunity to bring additional players into camp for training purposes, moving the total of current MLS players in the group to 21 of 35.
Mexico (No. 11), the U.S. (No. 20), Jamaica (No. 45), Costa Rica (No. 50) and Honduras (No. 67) have all received byes to the final round of eight in the region, though Canada must win Group B to remain in contention.
MLS Players Stack Rosters for Concacaf Nations League Finals
The crowning of the best national team among the 41 countries in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean will be determined this week in Denver during the Concacaf Nations League Finals, which feature 14 MLS players called up to represent the U.S. Men’s National Team, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Mexico.
The showdown between these final four teams kicks off on Thursday, June 3 with semifinals, featuring Honduras vs. USA at 7:30 p.m. ET before Mexico vs. Costa Rica at 10 p.m. ET on TUDN / Paramount+. If the USMNT and Mexico both advance, there could be a Sunday duel of LA Galaxy teammates going head-to-head with Sebastian Lletget representing USA and Jonathan dos Santos suiting up for El Tri.
Concacaf Nations League Rosters by Country (As of June 1)
USA (4 Players): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes)
Costa Rica (4): Francisco Calvo (Chicago Fire FC), Ronald Matarrita (FC Cincinnati), Luis Díaz (Costa Rica), Randall Leal (Nashville SC)
Honduras (3): Bryan Acosta (FC Dallas), Boniek García (Houston Dynamo FC), Romell Quioto (CF Montréal)
Mexico (3): Alan Pulido (Sporting Kansas City), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Rodolfo Pizarro (Inter Miami CF)
Zarek Valentin Sees Dream Come True with Puerto Rico World Cup Qualifying Callup
Zarek Valentin of Houston Dynamo FC will be realizing a life-long professional dream, when he makes his full international debut for Puerto Rico in FIFA World Cup qualifying this week.
Valentin has been called in for Puerto Rico’s two must-win matches, when they face the Bahamas at home in Mayagüez on Wednesday, June 2, then travel to play Guyana at a neutral site of Basseterre, Saint Kitts on Tuesday, June 8.
Valentin did represent the USA at U-23 level, playing in the Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Tournament for London 2012. He is eligible to play for Puerto Rico as his paternal grandmother was born on the island and he has not played for the U.S. in an official FIFA competition at full international level.
Valentin was named to the Puerto Rico by manager Dave Sarachan – who also has a rich history in Major League Soccer: the head coach of the Chicago Fire from 2004-2007, where he won the Supporters’ Shield, the U.S. Open Cup and made an appearance in MLS Cup 2003; a winner of four MLS Cups as an assistant coach; and was also acting head coach of the U.S. national team for more than a year in 2017-18.
Puerto Rico will face a steep uphill climb in the upcoming week if they are to finish atop their group and gain qualification for the next round of Concacaf qualifying. Despite a shock 1-1 draw with Trinidad & Tobago in their last qualifying match in March, Puerto Rico have 1 point from their first 2 games. They must defeat both Guyana (3 points) and already-eliminated Bahamas, and hope both St. Kitts and Nevis and Trinidad & Tobago lose their opening matches this week before those two face off in the group finale June 8 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Watch MLS Players On The International Stage This Week
Concacaf Nations League Finals
Thursday, June 3 (Semifinal): Honduras vs. USA (7:30 p.m. ET, TUDN / Paramount+)
Thursday, June 3 (Semifinal): Mexico vs. Costa Rica (10 p.m. ET, TUDN / Paramount+)
Sunday. June 6 (Third Place Game): TBC vs. TBC (6:30 p.m. ET, TUDN / Paramount+)
Sunday, June 6 (Final): TBC vs. TBC (9 p.m. ET, TUDN / Paramount+)
FIFA World Cup qualifying matches
Saturday, June 5: Aruba vs. Canada (8 p.m. ET, Paramount+)
Tuesday, June 8: Canada vs. Suriname (9:05 p.m. ET, Paramount+)