The United States had the fifth-most exported players out of North, Central and South America in 2019, according to data from the CIES Football Observatory.
The numbers from CIES tracked the number of players from each country that played abroad last year, with Brazil boasting the most at 1,600. They were followed by Argentina at 972, Colombia at 467, Uruguay at 373, with the US coming in at 170.
Top exporting countries, Americas: Brazil 🇧🇷 (main destination Portugal) Argentina 🇦🇷 (➡️Chile) Colombia 🇨🇴 (➡️Mexico) Uruguay 🇺🇾 (➡️Argentina) USA 🇺🇸 (➡️ England & Germany); more exclusive @CIES_Football data at https://t.co/MV7u6qTVVc pic.twitter.com/d1n99hikOO— CIES Football Obs (@CIES_Football) April 21, 2020
The top destinations for the players exported from the US are England and Germany.
It's unclear if the data includes players that made their move when they were still youth players (Christian Pulisic, Josh Sargent, Weston McKinnie) but it's an impressive figure either way.
Former New York Red Bulls midfielder Tyler Adams is one example of a player who plied his trade at an MLS academy before making the move abroad, where he was starring this season for RB Leipzig of the Bundesliga. There's also DeAndre Yedlin, who started in the Seattle Sounders academy before breaking into the first team and eventually getting sold to Tottenham Hotspur after a standout showing at the 2014 World Cup. Yedlin was then loaned to Sunderland before moving to Newcastle United, where he's made 102 appearances since 2016. Matt Miazga also started with the Red Bulls before he was sold to Chelsea and is currently on loan with Championship side Reading.
More recent examples include Real Salt Lake product Richie Ledezma, who is currently playing for Dutch side PSV Eindhoven and has four goals in 24 appearances for the club's reserve side Jong PSV, and Ulysses Llanez, who came up with the LA Galaxy before making the move to the Bundesliga with VfL Wolfsburg. Llanez is currently playing for Wolfsburg's U-19s.