67 African players on the starting line

MLS began its 26th season last Friday. Football365 Afrique takes this opportunity to take stock of the 67 African players (or of African origin) involved in the 27 competing franchises.

67 African players and of African origin will be part of the workforce of MLS clubs at the start of the 2021 season, a decrease of 7 compared to the two previous seasons which represented an all-time high. In addition, it is the first time in seven years that two clubs do not have African players in their training. We find players from Ligue 1, such as Jonathan Mensah (Columbus Crew), Bakaye Dibassy and Romain Métanire (Minnesota United) or Larrys Mabiala (Portland Timbers). And among the recruits of the last transfer window at LA Galaxy, the Franco-Senegalese Samuel Grandsir and the Franco-Cape Verdean Kévin Cabral, arrived from Valenciennes.

Note also theabsence of Sierra Leonean striker Kei Kamara, still without a contract at the time of this publication. The latter is currently the top African scorer in the history of MLS with 130 goals on the clock over 14 seasons played, but also the fifth best in the history of the league when he has only five goals to score for reach third place. Will he find a club to achieve this goal? To be continued.

Despite this decline, 26 countries are represented in the Garber circuit, the highest total on record. Note that the first window of the transfer market will not be over until early June and a second window will open in mid-July. The most important contingents are those of Ghana (14 players), Nigeria (7) and Cameroon (6).

The 67 Africans of MLS

Atlanta United FC: Mohammed « Mo » Adams (M-ERY), Machop Chol (MA-SUD).
Austin FC: Kekuta Manneh (A-GMB).
Chicago Fire: Chinonso Offor (A-NGA).
Cincinnati FC: Isaac Atanga (A-GHA), Joe Gyau (A-GHA), Kamohelo Mokotjo (M-RSA).
Colorado Rapids: Lalas Abubakar (D-GHA), Philip Mayaka (M-KEN), Dantouma « Yaya » Touré (A-GUI).
Columbus Crew: Harrison Afful (D-GHA), Aboubacar Keita (D-GUI), Jonathan Mensah (D-GHA).
DC United: Moses Nyeman (M-LIB), Chris Odoi-Atsem (D-GHA).
FC Dallas: Eddie Munjoma (D-ZIM), Ema Twumasi (A-GHA).
Houston Dynamo: Derrick Jones (M-GHA).
Kansas City Sporting: Gadi Kinda (M-ETH).
Los Angeles FC: Latif Blessing (A-GHA), Kwadwo Opoku (A-GHA), Mohamed Traoré (D-SEN).
Los Angeles Galaxy: Kévin Cabral (A-CPV), Samuel Grandsir (A-SEN), Diédié Traoré (D-DRC).
Inter Miami: Sami Guediri (M-ALG), Christian Makoun (D-CAM).
Minnesota United FC: Bakaye Dibassy (D-MLI), Nabilai Kibunguchy (D-KEN), Romain Métanire (D-MDG).
CF Montreal: Jean-Aniel Assi (M-CIV), Clément Bayiha (DA-CAM), Clément Diop (G-SEN), Ahmed Hamdy (A-EGY), Sunusi Ibrahim (A-NGA), Mustafa Kizza (D-OUG), Victor Wanyama (M-KEN), Rida Zouhir (M-MRC).
Nashville SC: Jalil Anibaba (D-NGA), Brian Anunga (M-CAM), Dominique Badji (A-SEN), Handwalla Bwana (M-KEN), Abu Danladi (A-GHA), Hany Mukhtar (M-SUD).
New England Revolution: Emmanuel Boateng (M-GHA), Wilfrid Kaptoum (M-CAM), Edward Kizza (A-OUG).
New York City FC: Sebastien Ibeagha (D-NGA), Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (A-LBY), Gedion Zelalem (M-ETH).
New York Red Bulls: Youba Diarra (M-MLI), Mandela Egbo (D-NGA), Amro Tarek (D-EGY).
Orlando City SC: No.
Philadelphia Union: Olivier MBaizo (D-CAM), Jamiro Monteiro (M-CPV).
Portland Timbers: Ismaila Jome (MD-GMB), Larrys Mabiala (D-DRC).
Real Salt Lake City: None.
San José Earthquakes: Luciano Abecasis (D-MRC), Jacob Akanyirige (D-GHA), Siad Haji (A-SOM).
Seattle Sounders FC: Nouhou Tolo (D-CAM).
Toronto FC: Ifunanyachi Achara (A-NGA), Chris Mavinga (D-RDC).
Vancouver Whitecaps: Janio Bikel (M-GNB, Photo), David Egbo (A-NGA), Bruno Gaspar (D-AGO), Leonard Owusu (M-GHA).

This list includes nationals and binationals (or trinationals) still selectable by their country of origin in Africa. In bold, the recruits of the last transfer window.

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