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Top 5 Footballers who played in Major League Soccer

Football, the game that originated in the island nation of England, is widely known across the nation of America as soccer. The game itself has shown a recent rise and great development in the country and hence, Major League Soccer, which is now one of the most renowned soccer leagues in the world, has garnered the attention of several great achievers of world football. 

Lionel Messi - Major League Soccer
Source: South China Morning Post

The Major League Soccer is the highest professional soccer league in America. It was initiated in 1993 and included 29 teams in the competition. 15 teams among them have had the privilege to win the competition, and the LA Galaxy have the most titles, i.e., 5. However, Los Angeles FC are the heavyweights after winning their last season in 2022. 

Since the early 2010s, several great players who have previously donned the jerseys of the greatest football clubs across famous leagues like the EPL or the La Liga and have also made immense impact internationally for their nations in world cups and several other international leagues have made the MLS a decorated soccer league In America and worldwide.

Though several greats of the game have been featured in the MLS since a long decade ago, the move of the supposed GOAT – Lionel Messi, to the MLS brought several great footballers to the limelight. 

1. Lionel Messi 

The supposed best footballer not only of his generation but throughout the history of the game, Lionel Messi shocked the world with his million dollar move to the Inter Miami club in 2023. The Argentine-born legend has appeared in 14 games for the club and he sparks his excellence in the MLS as well.

The Barcelona great, who has unforgettable records set in both club and international football, has now also scored 11 quick goals in Major League Soccer. Messi is often also regarded as one of the finest ever playmakers; he has also delivered five assists for his fellow players.

2. Frank Lampard 

Undoubtedly another legendary player to have left an impact in the growing phase of Major League Soccer. The English legend was placed as one of the best midfield players of his generation, as he made 100+ appearances for his nation of England. 

Starting his career from the West Ham United academy, where he played youth football, he rose to prominence during his time in Chelsea where he played from 2001 to 2014 featuring in over 400 games and scoring on 147 occasions. This great was brought into the MLS by the New York City FC for 2 seasons in 2015-16 where in his 31 appearances he scored 15 goals alongside 4 assists and remains to be among the greatest to have featured in the history of the Major League Soccer. 

Frank Lampard
Frank Lampard in Major League Soccer – Source: Elite Sports NY

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3. Thierry Henry 

The French professional footballer has been deemed one of the greatest names in the history of this beautiful sport. He is considered one of the greatest strikers to have ever stepped on the field, having won the World Cup with France in 1998, followed by the Euro in 2000. This great held a record for most international goals for France (51) until 2022. 

The renowned Arsenal star has been referred to as the greatest player ever for the Arsenal team as he has an almost invincible record as a target man with 174 goals in 254 appearances, after which he was moved to Bracelona, where he performed decently before being listed among the elite players to have featured in the Major League Soccer for the New York Red Bulls in 2010 and in this speculated time he scored 51 times for his new side. In his 122 games, he also delivered 35 assists across his short career in Major League Soccer.

4. Kaka 

Ricardo Kaka, often referred to as Kaka, is one of the finest Brazilian midfielders who was part of Brazil’s 2002 World cup winning squad. He was part of the famous quartet that included the unstoppable Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and Adriano alongside him. Throughout his career with Brazil, he has scored 29 goals and provided 22 assists. 

Kaka, despite his immense talent, has not been able to enjoy the immense success he deserved. However, during his days with AC Milan, he has scored 77 goals and assisted 60. For Real Madrid, he spent some great seasons with 23 goals and 26 assists and then was picked by Major League Soccer franchise Orlando City in 2014, where he kept a record of 24 goals and 22 assists. 

5. David Beckham 

The legendary English player, who was named by the legend of football Pele in the FIFA 100 list, was widely known throughout his career for his accurate crossing ability and bending freekicks. A legend of the United in the PL and later a great inclusion to the Real Madrid side from 2003 to 2007, Beckham was an eminent playmaker with 172 assists alongside 105 goals that he scored.

His dominance for England also came from his playmaking ability from the wings. This iconic footballer was one of the most unique inclusions in the MLS for the LA Galaxy, as he featured in 124 games, scoring on 20 occasions and delivered 42 useful assists. His charm only faded a decade later, when Lionel Messi made his move to Major League Soccer.

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