How many players have left MLS and where? – ESPN Criid
The numbers are out there and they tell the story of how many players left MLS in 2016, but they also give us an idea of how much has changed over the years.
While it’s not easy to calculate that number, there’s a good reason why the MLS Player Contract Statuses are sometimes misleading.
The number we’re interested in is the number of players who have left the league and the percentage of players in the league who left during the 2015-2016 season.
While the majority of those players left the organization within a few years of their contract expiring, the numbers do show that there are a few players who were there long enough to become eligible for a new contract.
The first of these is Toronto FC’s Jermain Defoe, who had an MLS career that began in 2008.
Defoe’s deal ended in 2012, when he signed with English side Manchester City.
After he was sold to Liverpool, Defoe spent five seasons in England before coming back to Toronto.
He spent most of the 2013-14 season on loan to the New York Red Bulls, where he was reunited with former team-mate Dwayne De Rosario, who he had signed in 2011.
Defo played in just eight matches for the Reds last season, scoring one goal.
The next player to leave was Orlando City SC’s Kaká, who left in July of 2017 to join Brazilian club Alaves.
Kaká spent his first season with the Lions in 2017 and then signed with the Brazil national team, where his international career began in 2018.
Kakas contract expired in June of 2019, and he was released in March of 2020.
While his career was over, Kaká was one of the most highly-paid players in MLS, with his contract earning him nearly $11 million annually.
The next highest paid player was Philadelphia Union midfielder Bobby Boswell, who earned $4.8 million in 2016.
Boswell’s departure from the Union didn’t come until September of 2021, a full six months after his arrival in Philadelphia.
The former Union player scored one goal in five matches for Philly.
The final player to join MLS in 2017 was Portland Timbers star Diego Valeri, who joined the Timbers in a move that was finalized a few months later.
Valeri made his MLS debut in February of 2018, and was signed to a two-year deal that saw him earn $8.6 million in 2018 and $12 million in 2019.
He played in only three matches for Portland, scoring two goals.