Major League Soccer Makes Extensive Impact on U.S. Men's Olympic Team

NEW YORK – Earlier today, U.S. Soccer announced the 18-man roster for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, which features 10 current players from Major League Soccer. U.S. Men’s Soccer will return to the Games for the first time since 2008 with a roster that is almost entirely composed of current or former MLS players. Of the 18 players U.S. Olympic Men’s Soccer Team head coach Marko Mitrović named, 17 of those spent have played in MLS or spent time in an MLS academy.

Nine different MLS clubs are represented on the U.S. Men’s Olympics Roster as the Philadelphia Union will send two players to Paris – Nathan Harriel and Jack McGlynn. All three overage players currently play in Major League Soccer – FC Cincinnati defender and 2024 MLS All-Star Miles Robinson, Colorado Rapids designated player Djordje Mihailovic, along with five-time MLS Best XI selection and Nashville SC defender Walker Zimmerman . Robinson was previously part of U.S. Soccer’s Copa America roster earlier this summer. Other than three overage selections, players born on or after Jan. 1, 2001 were under-23 age-eligible for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Additionally, five players have also appeared in MLS NEXT Pro, the professional league launched by MLS in 2022 that completes the pro player pathway from MLS NEXT to MLS first teams: Paxten Aaronson (Philadelphia Union II), Benjamin Cremaschi (Inter Miami CF II), Harriel (Philadelphia Union II), McGlynn (Philadelphia Union II) and Patrick Schulte (Columbus Crew 2). Schulte helped Crew 2 hoist the 2022 MLS NEXT Pro Cup and was named Goalkeeper of the Year that season before progressing to the first team and becoming the youngest starting goalkeeper to win an MLS Cup.

"MLS is proud to have its players representing the United States in the Summer Olympics,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “From the young players developed in our academies to the three MLS veterans selected for Team USA, these players are a reflection of the development pathway created by investment in our league to produce elite talent for club and country. We look forward to supporting them as they represent our country on the global stage."

The Olympics roster highlights MLS’ commitment to driving player development in the U.S. and Canada, which has produced the top young players at the club and international levels. The league’s substantial investment has created an unprecedented player development pathway in North American team sports.

MLS Player Development System
MLS’ player development system is unique in U.S. and Canadian team sports. Players have the opportunity to grow up playing for their hometown teams, progressing through an elite development pathway from youth levels to the top tier of professional soccer. This system includes MLS NEXT and MLS NEXT Pro, providing young athletes with the chance to develop and sign with their local MLS teams.

  • Direct Pathway to Professional Soccer: Players start in their hometown team’s jersey and have a clear route to the professional ranks.
  • Early Professional Experience: Homegrown MLS players often make their professional debuts in front of their hometown fans as young as 14 years old.
  • Unprecedented Development Pathway: The MLS player development system offers a continuous path from top academies to the professional level, which is unprecedented among other domestic sports leagues.

Continued Commitment to Developing Elite Players
MLS remains dedicated to its investment in player development, a commitment that has already produced international stars like Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, Alphonso Davies, and more. The league's introduction of MLS NEXT in 2020 and MLS NEXT Pro in 2022 highlights its ongoing efforts to create a comprehensive player development pathway.

  • Extensive Reach: MLS NEXT, the top youth soccer program in North America, includes over 15,000 athletes playing across 677 clubs/teams.
  • Significant Investment: Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in player development, resulting in the best young players in North America progressing to MLS first teams.

Overall MLS Contribution to National Teams
MLS continues to be a crucial pipeline for the U.S. Men’s and Youth National Teams. Over 75% of the players called up to the U.S. Men’s National Team in 2024 have MLS ties, and at the Youth National Team level, that figure reaches 85%. Notably, the 2023 U.S. FIFA U-20 World Cup roster saw 95% of its players having spent time in an MLS academy.

Other notable notes on the U.S. Olympic Men’s Soccer Team include:

  • The group has played in over 1,200 MLS matches, averaging more than 70 matches per player. Nashville SC defender Walker Zimmerman leads all players with 257 regular-season MLS appearances.
  • At just 19 years old, Inter Miami CF midfielder Benjamin Cremaschi is the youngest player on the roster and is also age-eligible for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.
  • Two players have appeared in MLS NEXT – which was founded in 2020 – Cremaschi (Inter Miami CF/Weston FC) and Caleb Wiley (Atlanta United). Cremaschi was named the 2021 MLS NEXT Cup MVP with Weston FC before joining Inter Miami and earning a Homegrown deal in 2022.
  • All four alternates are either current MLS players or spent time in an MLS academy (Johan Gomez, FC Dallas).


Goalkeepers (2): Patrick Schulte (Columbus Crew; St. Charles, Mo.), Gaga Slonina (Chelsea/ENG; Addison, Ill.)

Defenders (6): Maximilian Dietz (Greuther Furth/GER; Frankfurt, Germany), Nathan Harriel (Philadelphia Union; Oldsmar, Fla.), Miles Robinson (FC Cincinnati; Arlington, Mass.), John Tolkin (New York Red Bulls; Chatham, N.J.), Caleb Wiley (Atlanta United FC; Atlanta, Ga.), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; Lawrenceville, Ga.)

Midfielders (5): Gianluca Busio (Venezia/ITA; Greensboro, N.C.), Benjamin Cremaschi (Inter Miami CF; Key Biscayne, Fla.), Jack McGlynn (Philadelphia Union; Queens, N.Y.), Djordje Mihailovic (Colorado Rapids; Jacksonville, Fla.), Tanner Tessmann (Venezia/ITA; Birmingham, Ala.)

Forwards (5): Paxten Aaronson (FC Utrecht/NED; Medford, NJ), Taylor Booth (FC Utrecht/NED; Eden, Utah), Duncan McGuire (Orlando City SC; Omaha, Neb.), Kevin Paredes (Wolfsburg/GER; South Riding, Va.), Griffin Yow (KVC Westerlo/BEL; Clifton, Va.)

Alternates (4): Josh Atencio (Midfielder, Seattle Sounders FC; Bellevue, Wash.), Jacob Davis (Defender, Sporting Kansas City; Rochester, Mich.), Johan Gomez (Forward, Eintracht Braunschweig/GER; Keller, Texas), John Pulskamp (Goalkeeper, Sporting Kansas City; Bakersfield, Calif.)

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