Major League Soccer (MLS) has grown into a highly competitive and diverse league with players hailing from all over the world. In recent years, international soccer players who want to show off their skills and play at a high level have been flocking to the MLS.
In this article, we will highlight five players in the MLS who are stars of their national teams.
Jozef Martinez (Inter Miami) - Venezuela
Josef Martinez was born on May 19, 1993, in Valencia, Venezuela, and began his professional career at the age of 17 with the Venezuelan club, Caracas FC.
Martinez joined the MLS in 2017, when he became a designated player for Atlanta United FC. He had an impressive debut season, scoring 19 goals and providing 5 assists, leading Atlanta to their first-ever MLS Cup championship. Martinez was named the MLS MVP in 2018 after breaking the league's single-season goal-scoring record with 31 goals in 34 games.
In 2023 Martinez moved to Inter Miami FC to add a new era to his impressive career.
Raúl Ruidíaz (Seattle Sounders) - Peru
Raúl Ruidíaz, nicknamed ‘the Flea’ was born on July 25, 1990, in Lima, Peru, and began his professional career with the Peruvian club Universitario de Deportes in 2009.
Ruidíaz joined the MLS in 2018, signing with the Seattle Sounders FC as a designated player. He quickly made an impact, scoring 10 goals in 14 games in his debut season and helping the Sounders reach the playoffs. In his second season with the Sounders, Ruidíaz scored 11 goals and provided 5 assists in 27 games, helping the team win the MLS Cup championship in 2019.
Ruidíaz has also been a key player for the Peruvian national team, scoring crucial goals in their successful qualification campaign for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He has been named the Peruvian Footballer of the Year twice, in 2018 and 2020.
Known for his pace, skill, and clinical finishing ability, Ruidíaz is regarded as one of the best strikers in the MLS. He is also known for his humble and hardworking attitude both on and off the pitch.
Giorgos Giakoumakis (Atlanta United) - Greece
Giorgos Giakoumakis was born on December 3, 1994, in Heraklion, Greece, and began his professional career with the Greek club, OFI Crete.
Giakoumakis made a name for himself during the 2020-2021 season, where he was the top scorer in the Dutch Eredivisie with 26 goals, playing for VVV-Venlo. This remarkable achievement earned him the Golden Boot award and saw him become the first Greek player to top the scoring charts in a major European league since Nikos Anastopoulos in 1978.
After his Dutch stint, Giakoumakis played for Scottish Premiership legends Celtic FC, where he scored 19 goals in 40 matches before being signed by Atlanta United.
Giakoumakis has also represented the Greek national team, making his debut in 2020. He has since become a regular member of the team and has scored six goals in eleven appearances.
Known for his excellent finishing ability, Giakoumakis is a versatile striker who can play as a center forward or on either wing. He is also known for his work ethic and commitment to the team.
Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union) - Jamaica
Andre Blake was born on November 21, 1990, in May Pen, Jamaica, and began his professional career with the Jamaican club, Harbour View FC.
Blake joined the MLS in 2014, when he was selected as the first overall pick by the Philadelphia Union in the MLS SuperDraft. He quickly became one of the best goalkeepers in the league. In 2016, he won the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award and helped the Union make it to the playoffs more than once.
Blake has also been a key player for the Jamaican national team, making his debut in 2014. He has played for Jamaica in a number of international tournaments, such as the CONCACAF Gold Cup and the Copa America Centenario. In the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, he was named the Best Goalkeeper.
Blake is known for his shot-stopping ability, quick reflexes, and excellent distribution, Blake is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the MLS. He is also known for being a good leader and being able to organize and talk with his team of defenders.
Victor Wanyama (CF Montréal) - Kenya
Victor Wanyama was born on June 25, 1991, in Nairobi, Kenya, and began his professional career with the Kenyan club, AFC Leopards.
Wanyama became well-known around the world when he played for Celtic FC in Scotland. He won multiple Scottish Premiership titles and was named the Scottish Professional Football League Player of the Year in 2013. He then went on to play for Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League before joining CF Montreal in 2020.
Wanyama has also been a key player for the Kenyan national team, making his debut in 2007 at the age of 15 years. He has since become the captain of the team and has represented Kenya in several international tournaments, including the Africa Cup of Nations and the World Cup qualifiers.
Wanyama is known as one of the best defensive midfielders in the MLS because of how tough he is, how good he is at defense, and how well he can pass the ball. He is also known for his strong work ethic and leadership qualities, both on and off the pitch.