Before we break down how many MLS men have been summoned for upcoming World Cup qualifiers, a little context – because this is a little bit strange at first glance.
It’s not unusual for the predominant league of Country A to positively influence the World Cup ambitions of Country B, C or D – if only inadvertently so. Better leagues draw the better talent, simple as that.
So if more World Cup wanna-bes are playing in your league, it’s a sure sign that things are going in the right direction. Still, this could look askew to those who haven’t seen how much of the globe’s top talent gets funneled into so relatively few associations – the best of the best going to England, Italy, Germany, etc., while the best of the southern hemisphere that doesn’t reach the old world migrates into Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, etc.
To wit: five MLS men have been called into Jurgen Klinsmann’s national team. So, hey, hey! Not bad, eh?
But the strangeness, such that it is, lies here: Jamiaca’s roster has a full nine MLS men. Nine! So, if Jamaica dents, dings or outright t-bone crushes the U.S. World Cup chances over the next eight days, there’s no way around it: Major League Soccer and the ever widening developmental avenues that it offers will have had something to do with it.
Meanwhile, Canada’s roster will also include nine MLS men. (At least in that case, Canada actually has clubs in MLS. Three of them.)
Honduras, a World Cup qualifier last time around and recent Men’s Olympic Soccer Tournament participant, will have six MLS players for its pair of qualifiers.
Panama and Costa Rica will have three each. Heck, even Ireland will have a pair – but since Ireland doesn’t compete for World Cup spots with the United States, that’s just a throw-away.
The full list of MLS men called for the quickly approaching FIFA fixture double-date of internationals is here: The list, compiled by MLS, includes 45 names overall.