Diversity Map

Major League Soccer remains North America's youngest and most diverse sports league

CARSON, Calif. – Major League Soccer remains at the forefront of diversity in the North American sports landscape.

From the present pool of 637 players, 72 countries are represented in MLS, the most of any soccer league in the world. Among the list of players, 234 have been capped by a national team, while 70 percent of present Designated Players have been capped. A total of 40 of current DPs have been included on a FIFA World Cup roster. MLS is expected to break records for most players participating in the World Cup, in addition, to most countries represented. A total of 27 players from 11 World Cup-bound nations played in World Cup qualifiers last year.

This offseason, MLS teams signed the youngest group of newcomers in league history with an average age of 25.05 years old. Of those players, 50 percent of players have national team experience. The league’s current DP group ranks youngest in league history at an average of 27.32 years of age.

A breakdown of the league's diversity can be found below:

League (year) Total # of Players Players Born Abroad (% born outside U.S.A. & Canada) Countries Represented (incl. U.S.A. & Canada) Average Age of All Players (in years)
MLS (2018) 637 315 (49.4%) 72 25.36
MLB (2017) 1087 326 (29.9%) 24 28.33
NHL (2017-2018) 779 225 (28.8%) 22 27.17
NBA (2017-2018) 496 96 (19.4%) 47 26.22
NFL (2017) 2104 57 (2.7%) 26 26.36
 
All Statistics Courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
*Leagues in season include all players on current rosters.
*Leagues out of season include players on rosters when the season ended.
*Totals as of March 6, 2018
 
 
MLS Players by Country (outside U.S.A / Canada)
Country Players
Argentina 23
England 19
France 19
Ghana 18
Colombia 15
 
 
MLS Players by State / Province
State Players
California 61
New York 21
Ontario (Canada) 18
Texas 18
New Jersey 17
 
 
Average Age of MLS Newcomers at End of Regular Season
2018 –  25.05*
2017 –  26.06
2016 –  25.70
2015 –  27.02
2014 –  27.53
*age of newcomers at beginning of regular season
 
 
Average Age of Designated Players at End of Regular Season
Year Age
2018 27.32*
2017 28.29
2016 29.38
2015 29.21
2014 29.34
*age of Designated Players at beginning of regular season

 

League (year) Total # of Players Players Born Abroad (% born outside U.S.A. & Canada) Countries Represented (incl. U.S.A. & Canada) Average Age of All Players (in years)
MLS (2018) 637 315 (49.4%) 72 25.36
MLB (2017) 1087 326 (29.9%) 24 28.33
NHL (2017-2018) 779 225 (28.8%) 22 27.17
NBA (2017-2018) 496 96 (19.4%) 47 26.22
NFL (2017) 2104 57 (2.7%) 26 26.36
 
All Statistics Courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
*Leagues in season include all players on current rosters.
*Leagues out of season include players on rosters when the season ended.
*Totals as of March 6, 2018
 
 
MLS Players by Country (outside U.S.A / Canada)
Country Players
Argentina 23
England 19
France 19
Ghana 18
Colombia 15
 
 
MLS Players by State / Province
State Players
California 61
New York 21
Ontario (Canada) 18
Texas 18
New Jersey 17
 
 
Average Age of MLS Newcomers at End of Regular Season
2018 –  25.05*
2017 –  26.06
2016 –  25.70
2015 –  27.02
2014 –  27.53
*age of newcomers at beginning of regular season
 
 
Average Age of Designated Players at End of Regular Season
Year Age
2018 27.32*
2017 28.29
2016 29.38
2015 29.21
2014 29.34
*age of Designated Players at beginning of regular season