Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Interesting - But Not Suprising

MLS ranks as the most diverse major pro league in North America

Major League Soccer has once again clocked in as the most diverse major North American sports league.

MLS announced on Tuesday that it has the most diverse group of players among the top five major sports leagues in the US and Canada as determined by birthplace. As of last Friday, a total of 59 countries were represented by the league’s pool of 536 players, with 246 players born outside of the US and Canada.

A world map of players broken out by birthplace can be found below, while a map of players born in the US and Canada can be found here. The full lists of MLS players born abroad and in the US and Canada can be found here and here, respectively.

See the whole story here, courtesy of MLS.

Kicking Back Comments: While this diversity should be celebrated as it is very positive in the MLS having an attractive product for foreign players to come to there are a couple of lessons in here.

1. If you want to be a professional referee, you better start being "culturally aware." This is not a euphemism of any type, but rather a need for any high level referee. If you want to get a head start, learn a language and be conversational.

2. Way back in soccer history, the old NASL was essentially raided by foreign players who would summer here in the US and fill their vacation funds. While MLS has some safeguards in place to make sure that happens less ... or only when they know about it ... I am a fan of domestic players playing in MLS. It's not a nationalistic thing, just recognition we need to develop our players.

Beyond that, I am all for the level of diversity MLS has. Then again ... aren't we the foreigners to The Game?

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