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

Major League Soccer

June 4, 2024 – Major League Soccer (MLS) News Release

NEW YORK – 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:

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