Top 10 Players That Went To MLS From Europe

There have been many prominent players that played in MLS. Even the league is quite young in this format, the league was established in 1996.

The MLS regular season runs from March to October. The playoff format determining the MLS Cup champion. The league operates as a single entity. The teams are owned and operated by the league, a departure from the traditional European-style model where teams are owned by individual investors. The MLS has a salary cap and operates a player draft, making it unique among major global soccer leagues. The league has seen significant growth in recent years, with increased investment, improved infrastructure, and the arrival of top international players helping to raise the level of play and the profile of the league.

Many prominent European footballers have come to play in the Major League Soccer (MLS) in recent years, including:

  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic: He played from 2018-2019 for LA Galaxy with whom he won 1 MLS Cup in 2019.

  • David Beckham: Beckham spent 6 seasons (2007-2012) in MLS but did not won any titles in the championship. After the retirement from football, he became the owner of Inter Miami that also attracted some of the famous players from one of the European leagues, Gonzalo Higuain.
  • Thierry Henry: He played 4 seasons (2010-2014) in New York Red Bulls. Henry won 1 Supporter’s Shield in 2013 with New York Red Bulls.
  • Andrea Pirlo: After he finished the career in Juventus, he moved to USA and spent 2 seasons (2015-2017) but did not manage to win anything with his club.
  • Kaká: Another player that won everything in Europe went to USA where he finished his playing career. He spent 4 seasons (2014-2017) in Orlando City SC. He managed to win the MLS Cup in 2016.

  • Steven Gerrard: After the career in England was done, he spent 2 seasons (2015-2016) in MLS. After the retirement, he returned to Europe to manage Glasgow Rangers.
  • Frank Lampard: Frank Lampard did not win the title in USA and he spent 2 seasons (2015-2016) there. As his countryman Gerard, he returned to England as the manager of Derby County in 2018.
  • Didier Drogba: After a very rich career in Europe, Drogba as well decided to give it a go in MLS. He spent 2 seasons (2015-2016) there but failed to win any titles.
  • Bastian Schweinsteiger: When he finished the spell in Bayern Munich, he went to MLS where he spent 2 seasons (2017-2019). He managed to in 1 MLS Cup in 2018 with Chicago Fire.

  • Wayne Rooney: He also decided to switch Europe with USA. He spent 2 seasons (2018-2019) in MLS and managed to win 1 MLS Cup 2019 with DC United.

Those are only some of the players that went to USA to play in their national league and to promote football. Many other players went to MLS as well. Some of them are Sebastian Giovinco, Xherdan Shaqiri, Giorgio Chiellini, Gareth Bale and many more.