MLS Clubs Are Snapping Up Foreign Players Like Hotcakes As Politicians Work To Keep Them Out

It’s a fun little quiz that takes less than a minute. Find out if you would be allowed to immigrate to the United States under the Republican-proposed, president-backed, merit-based point system created to slash legal immigration.

I don’t pass the test, though that could change once I get my Nobel Prize (any day now). Some of the players Major League Soccer clubs are bringing in from abroad may not pass the test either. Perhaps that’s why MLS teams are so eager to buy foreigners right before Wednesday’s transfer deadline.

Columbus Crew SC snagged Sporting Braga winger Pedro Santos from Portugal. The Houston Dynamo shored up its defense with former Arsenal and Switzerland international Philippe Senderos. D.C. United bought Hungarian winger Zoltan Stieber from Kaiserslautern. FC Dallas brought in Venezuelan midfielder Luis Gonzalez. Mexico’s Carlos Vela announced he left Real Sociedad to play for LAFC next year. 

Maybe this shouldn’t be a huge surprise. Columbus, Houston, D.C., Dallas and L.A. are already sanctuary cities. The soccer clubs are just doing their best to bring in a few more immigrants before Republicans shut the door on legal immigrants.


Stieber at least fits the type of emigration Trump prefers in his private life: a good-looking Eastern European

Fortunately for LAFC fans, a wall won’t keep Vela from playing in MLS, though he could have gained 15 points on the merit test had he not refused a call-up to play for Mexico in the 2012 Olympics. His fellow former Gunner, Senderos, was not playing for Switzerland the last time the country won a medal in soccer at the Olympics (1924). Plus, he loses points for being over 30 years old. 


Pedro Santos will probably be happy to escape the turmoil in Venezuela, though college football season is almost here so Columbus, Ohio, may not be any safer. 

As for FC Dallas’ new signing, given the way the club has been playing recently, they probably thought they were getting the former Astros and Diamondbacks star, who hit one of the greatest bloop singles in the history of baseball. 


Most of these players will have received 23 points for being between the age of 26-30 with a job offer of more than $155,800. But none has won an Olympic medal and depending upon their ability to speak English, they would not pass the merit-based test to immigrate to the U.S. So it’s a good thing MLS clubs scooped up these players when they did. 

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