Major League Soccer

Why are more and more Latin American players choosing MLS?

With 192 Latin American players, MLS is the non-South American league with more South Americans. The club that has the most is Inter Miami with 9.

There are currently 192 South American players playing in MLS.
There are currently 192 South American players playing in MLS.

It is a fact that MLS has changed favorably in recent years when it comes to sports competition, and that is due largely by the addition of many South American players to the teams. What reasons drive more and more Latin American players to choose the US to play in MLS?

If we go back just 5 or 10 years for players, coming to MLS was a step back in a footballer career, but this has changed. Now athletes get to play in the MLS for different reasons. One of those reasons is because salaries are high. Another is that fans are more patient and give the players the time they need to adapt to the environment, something that does not happen in many leagues in the world and even less in South American competitions.

That in MLS pays well isn't any news, but now players chose the MLS as their path to Europe. The best example is the former Atlanta United player Miguel Almiron who arrived in 2016 for 11 million dollars and in 2019 was sold for 26 millions to Newcastle of the Premier League. European soccer teams pay a lot of attention to MLS talents.

Not only young players, like Matias Pellegrini and Julián Carranza -Inter Miami- or Diego Rossi and Brian Rodriguez -LAFC- choose MLS. As it have been for years, experienced players are still choosing the US as their last destination. This has been the case of David Villa, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, and recently Chicharito Hernandez and Gonzalo Higuaín. This is another reason why many young South Americans want to be transferred to MLS: playing alongside their youth idols is a dream come true.

Currently the MLS is the non-South American soccer league with the most Latin American players. 192 South Americans compite on teams from the US. Argentina leads the way with 42 players, and six of them are on the Inter Miami roster: Gonzalo and Federico Higuaín, Matias Pellegrini, Nicolás Figal, Julián Carranza and Leandro González Pirez. After the MLS, the second league with more South Americans is the Italian Serie A, with 81. Then comes the Spanish League with 77 and the English Premier League with 32.

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