A mix of everything — Here are the top 10 most valuable players in MLS

Major League Soccer has become synonym to having some of the biggest soccer stars in the world and the list of their most valuable players shows just how much the league has grown in value over the past decades.

In this past few years, MLS has completed the signings of world-renowned players across the board, turning the league into one of soccer’s biggest. We’ve seen stars the likes of Giorgio Chiellini and Gareth Bale (now retired) move to Los Angeles FC in the same window, Napoli legend Lorenzo Insigne make a bold move to Toronto FC, Minnesota United’s surprise acquisition of English soccer’s iconic Teemu Puki and Inter Miami’s “Catalunya takeover” with the signings of Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets and of course, Lionel Messi.

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Europe’s biggest football players are playing soccer.

This transfer agenda in the league has helped turn the heads of soccer fans around the globe over to MLS who are still interested in seeing some of their favorite players perform. 

At the same time, this has also increased the value of their most expensive players, building their most valuable player list into one of young, promising players mixed with the proven and experienced players coming from Europe.

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Top 10 most valuable players in MLS

(Source: Transfermrkt)

10. Brandon Vazquez (FC Cincinnati) - €8.5 million

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The MLS sensation has become one of the most valuable players in the league. After having a pair of outstanding seasons with FC Cincinnati and being called up by the USMNT, Brandon Vazquez has turned into a top striker. The 24-year-old has scored 53 goals and provided 20 assists in his 166-game career in Major League Soccer, averaging a goal contribution every 125 minutes.

9. Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas) - €9 million

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Jesús Ferreira is the real deal. The USMNT forward is the second-youngest player in the list and has already raised his value to almost 10 million. In the previous 2022 MLS season, Fereira scored 18 goals and provided 6 assists in 33 games for "The Toros" and has gotten to a similar start in the 2023 season. After 19 games played, the 22-year-old has scored 10 goals, providing one assist along the way.

8. Cucho Hernández (Columbus Crew) - €10 million

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El Cafetalero is mesmerizing Columbus. While being just 24 years old, Cucho has played in Colombia, Spain, England and now MLS — a clear sign of why he’s performing at such a high level in the U.S. In just two seasons with the Crew (with still some games left to play in 2023), Cucho has scored 21 goals and provided 10 assists in 39 games. 

7. Talles Magno (NYCFC) - €12 million

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The Brazilian youngster is one of the most promising players in MLS. After being signed by New York City at just 19 years old from Vasco da Gama, the Carioca has been off to an interesting start in the U.S. After a shaky first season with NYCFC, Magno finished 2022 with eight goals and eight assists in 34 games. 

6. Riqui Puig (LA Galaxy) - €12 million

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Riqui is showing why he was considered one of the most exciting prospects from Barcelona’s La Masia. After making a bold move to Los Angeles at the age of just 22, Puig has become the Galaxy’s best player and one of the best players in the league. Despite playing as a central midfielder whose job is to distribute the ball and control the flow of the game, Puig has totaled 10 goal contributions (six goals and four assists) in 25 games in the 2023 MLS season.

5. Hany Mukhtar (Nashville SC) - €12 million

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Nashville’s magician is taking the league by storm. After arriving in MLS from Denmark (after playing in the Germany, Austria and Portugal), Muhktar has found his place in the soccer world. Since signing for Nashville SC with a market value of $1 million in 2021, the former German international has become one of the most talented players in the league, raising his value up to $12 million in 2023. In just 123 games, the forward has scored 66 goals, providing 34 assist along the way.

4. Facundo Torres (Orlando City) - €14 million

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The Uruguayan is Orlando’s newest starboy. The Garra Charrúa youngster arrived in Orlando in 2022 and since his first appearance, the now 23-year-old has showed that he means business. In 70 appearances with "The Lions", Facundo has had 37 direct goal contributions, surpassing his total contributions (31) for his former club Peñarol in the same amount of matches. The winger’s performances in MLS have earned him multiple call-ups for Uruguay, a national team full of exciting young talent playing in some of the biggest clubs in Europe.

3. Sebastián Driussi (Austin FC) - €15 million

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Driussi is Austin and Austin is Driussi. The Argentine is Austin’s No. 10, captain and best player in the team. Since arriving to Texas in 2021 after having some impressive seasons in Russia with Zenit, the multifunctional attacker has shown why he’s worth what he’s worth. In 79 games with the Texan club, Driussi has tallied 40 goals and 12 assists, averaging a goal contribution every 127 minutes.

2. Thiago Almada (Atlanta United) - €27 million

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A 2022 World Cup champion. Thiago Almada is the best young player in the league, and his resumé, along with brutal playmaking, scoring and technical abilities, place him as the next MLS player likely to make a move to Europe. The 22-year old Argentine arrived in Atlanta in 2022 after becoming a promising player in the Argentina First Division, and while choosing Major League Soccer was controversial at the time, the No. 10 has proven the doubters wrong. Almada has scored 17 goals and provided 20 assists in 60 games and is having his best season in 2023 so far with nine goals and 12 assists in just 25 regular season games.

1. Lionel Messi (Inter Miami) - €35 million

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It’s Lionel Messi, people. The world’s No. 10 is still one of the best on the planet and after having a more than impressive end to his 2022 as the World Cup’s runner-up top scorer, MVP and champion with Argentina, the 36-year-old is still holding up a hefty market value price. After signing for Miami last July, the former PSG man has kept an incredible goal per game ratio, scoring 11 goals in 11 games and increasing his chances to breaking the Inter Miami all-time scoring record.

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