Error message

  • Notice: Undefined index: nid in views_handler_field_term_node_tid->pre_render() (line 98 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/
  • Notice: Undefined index: nid in views_handler_field_term_node_tid->pre_render() (line 98 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/


10 MLS players who are worth the price of admission

The weather's warming, the flowers are blooming and your local MLS side is calling — it's tailgating season. If you're looking to schedule an outing, here are 10 players who are worth the price of admission.

There's no sound science behind this ranking so warning, some readers might be offended. But I really don't think you'll have a bad time watching any of these guys play live. 

The 10 Best MLS players 2023

#10. Jordan Morris | Seattle Sounders

Position: Left winger

2023 stats: 9 games, 8 goals and 0 assists

MLS players on the USMNT will always have their critics, but the whole narrative of the league offering boring/bland players makes zero sense with regards to Morris' playing style. How could you not enjoy the 28-year-old's direct wing play? He's usually on the rampage when he hits top speed, and Morris has got a lethal right foot that's currently leading the Golden Boot race.

And don't forget he created the USMNT's equalizer in an otherwise entirely forgettable Continental Clásico vs. Mexico.

#9. Héctor Herrera | Houston Dynamo

Position: Central midfielder

2023 stats: 7 games, 2 goals and 2 assists

The man's a legend: a Primeira Liga title with Porto, LaLiga title with Atlético, Olympic gold and 104 caps with Mexico. Yeah, he's 33 now and not the player who bossed Germany at the 2018 World Cup, but he's still a very handsome sight on his day.

#8. Riqui Puig | LA Galaxy 

Positition: Central midfielder

2023 stats: 8 games, 1 goal and 0 assists

Maybe Puig's goal contributions don't justify his inclusion in this list, but hot damn, the 23-year-old can move with the ball at his feet. Puig ultimately wasn't the "next Andrés Iniesta" but that's not because he didn't have the dribbling ability — Puig could be in any league on the planet and still be considered elite in that category, so it's not surprising to see him leading MLS with four dribbles per game.

#7. Carles Gil | New England Revolution 

Position: Attacking midfielder 

2023 stats: 8 games, 2 goals and 1 assist 

New England's flying at the start of the season and Gil's playing like his 2021 MVP Award-winning self. The 30-year-old Spaniard is a liquid footballer and a master of the perfectly weighted pass.  

#6. Sebastián Driussi | Austin FC

Position: Attacking midfielder

2023 stats: 8 games, 1 goals and 1 assist

Austin's fall from grace this season has certainly been dramatic, and Driussi's stats also paint a telling picture after the Argentine scored 22 and created five in 34 appearances last year.

Driussi will turn it on at some point because he's clearly a monster.  

#5. Dániel Gazdag | Philadelphia Union

Position: Attacking midfielder

2023 stats: 8 games, 3 goals and 4 assists 

The 27-year-old Hungarian international was one of the league's best last season with 22 goals and six assists in 34 games, and Gazdag is off to a similar start in 2023. He's also scored twice in Philly's Champions League run.

#4. Carlos Vela | LAFC 

Position: Right winger 

2023 stats: 8 games, 3 goals and 3 assists 

At the age of 34, Vela has evolved his game with Denis Bouanga now LAFC's main goalscoring threat. The defending champions can kill you all sorts of different ways and Vela is the main facilitator of that. 

His 2.6 key passes per 90 is good for fourth-most in the league and there's still not a better left foot in MLS. He's also got three goals and one assist in LAFC's Champions League campaign.   

#3. Lorenzo Insigne | Toronto FC

Position: Left winger 

2023 stats: 3 games, 1 goal and zero assists

The league's highest paid player arrived on the back of helping Italy win the European Championship and another double-digit goalscoring season with Napoli, but the 31-year-old hasn't been able to transform TFC's dismal recent history.

Still, Insigne's scored seven goals and provided two assists in 14 MLS appearances, and now he's recovered from a groin injury so the linkup with Federico Bernardeschi should start to flourish. 

#2. Thiago Almada | Atlanta United

Position: Attacking midfielder 

2023 stats: 7 games, 4 goals and 5 assists

Paying $16 million for a 19-year-old was a wild piece of business, but less than two years later the move already looks like a masterstroke by Atlanta. Almada won the 2022 MLS Newcomer of the Year award with six goals and seven assists in 29 appearances before winning the World Cup with Argentina.

This year he scored his first goal for La Albiceleste and started the new MLS season like a man possessed. Almada is the ultimate playmaker in MLS with 3.4 shots (sixth-most), 3.3 key passes (most) and 3.3 dribbles (third-most) per game.  

#1. Hany Mukhtar | Nashville SC 

Position: Attacking midfielder 

2023 stats: 9 games, 3 goals and 3 assists 

A two-time Best XI selection and the reigning Landon Donovan MVP Award winner, the 28-year-old German is on another level.

"He's a genius," says Nashville manager Gary Smith. "If he was in any other walk of life, if he created new lightbulbs, you know he'd probably find another way to create electricity or something. He's just such an intelligent lad. He sees things quicker than a lot of other people."

Videos you might like