Major League Soccer has been growing its reputation throughout world football dramatically over the past decade. This season has been no different in a league which sees LAFC dominate the sports betting odds with their incredible roster and exciting style of football.
MLS’s ability to attract some incredibly talented players to the league has previously been focused on players coming closer to the ends of their career. The likes of Wayne Rooney, Andrea Pirlo and Steven Gerrard are amongst those who have played in MLS towards the end of their careers.
In recent years players have seen the increasingly strong levels the MLS is reaching and its ability to produce players which big clubs in Europe have been eager to sign.
There are players who have started in MLS representing some of the biggest teams in world football.
Alphonso Davies played 65 games for Vancouver Whitecaps before moving to Bayern Munich. He has since become a key player for the German giants as well as the Canadian national team.
Miguel Almiron is the most expensive player to be signed from an MLS side, leaving Atlanta United for Newcastle United in 2019 for £26 million. Jozy Altodore left New York Red Bulls for Villarreal in Spain for £10 million and many others like him have crossed over to European football.
There has been an increase in young players joining MLS from abroad knowing that it is an excellent league to showcase your talents as well as gain global interest.
Last season’s MLS Cup champions, New York City FC, have been one of the most impressive sides in MLS in recent seasons. Part of the City Business Group that owns Manchester City in the Premier League, they have become a top destination for players who are looking to showcase their talents in MLS.
Talles Magno is no different, leaving Brazilian side Vasco de Gama, he chose MLS and has gone on to become a major part of the side already, since arriving in 2021. The left winger has shown incredible class and skill on the ball and scored the winner in last season’s Eastern Conference Final which sent the club into the MLS Cup Final.
The Alaska native made his debut this season in the CONCACAF Champions League against Honduran side Motagua at the age of 16. While Seattle Sounders faced off against Pumas in the CCL final this season, one of their key players Joao Paulo was taken off with a season ending injury. In his place came Vargas who went on to help his side become the first MLS team to win the tournament.
The central midfielder is ahead of his years when he takes the pitch. With people tuning in from around the world, they saw a young teenager take over from an experienced professional and slot in perfectly.
Injury has halted an impressive debut season, but the young player will be closely monitored on his return by clubs from all over the world.
Already having attracted interest from Norwich City in England, the Canadian midfielder has been having a stellar season alongside Victor Wanyama in the center of midfield for CF Montéal.
He is an athletic player that works hard in and out of possession which has complemented Wanyama’s style well along with making him a part of the Canadian National Team that will be playing in the World Cup in Qatar later this year.
The Philadelphia Union have a proud history of developing talented players through their academy. Mark McKenzie joined Genk in Belgium, Christian Pulisic spent time there, and Leeds United have recently signed Brendan Aaronson who is Paxton’s older brother.
Paxton has played 11 times for the USA U20 side, scoring eight goals and at 18 years of age is becoming a key part of the first team in Philadelphia.
There is a lot of excitement about his development along with players like Jack McGlynn, and is seen to be technically even more impressive than his brother. He is already building an exciting reputation that will not have been missed by clubs across Europe.
After joining FC Cincinnati in November 2019, Vazquez has been part of a struggling franchise who had previously finished bottom of the rankings in all of their three seasons as an MLS side.
This season has been different and he has had his best as a professional scoring 14 goals in 23 games so far and receiving calls to be added to the United States Men’s National Team for the World CUp in Qatar.
He is a strong and physical center forward with good movement and a keen eye for goal. There will be plenty of admirers watching how the season unfolds to consider bringing him to Europe in the near future.
As well as these five there are many others to consider like Jesus Ferreira and Alan Velasco of FC Dallas, Facundo Torres of Orlando City, and Thiago Almada of Atlanta United.
MLS now is home to some truly great young talents and is a league that will continue to grow and develop more and more future stars.