Venezuelan striker Josef Martínez, of Atlanta United, leads this year’s jersey sales in the United States Professional League (MLS), according to the entity in a statement on Wednesday.
Along with Martínez, six other Latin American players are in the top ten, including the four who follow him to fifth place: Peruvian Raúl Ruidíaz (Seattle), Mexican Carlos Vela (LAFC), Javier Hernández (Los Angeles Galaxy) and Uruguayan Nicolás Lodeiro (Seattle).
Sixth place goes to Guatemalan-Salvadoran American Cristian Roldán (Seattle), followed by American Miles Robinson, while Colombian Fredy Montero (Seattle), Mexican Jonathan dos Santos (Los Angeles Galaxy) and Argentine American Sebastián Lletget (Los Angeles Galaxy) complete the top 10.
Of the top 25 players, 18 have Latin American roots and by country, of the 13 represented, the United States leads the list with six, but two of them are of Latin American origin as Lletget and Colombian Alejandro Bedoya.
Next is Argentina with five players: Gonzalo Higuaín (Miami), Emanuel Reynoso (Minnesota), Lucas Zelarayán (Columbus), Diego Valeri (Portland) and Tomás Pochettino (Austin).
Then comes Mexico with Vela, Hernández and Jonathan dos Santos, while Colombia has Montero and Diego Chará (Portland).
In terms of team representation, 15 teams have players in the top 25 best-selling jerseys in their respective markets and the Seattle Sounders for the third consecutive year finished as the leader with four jerseys among the top sellers (Ruidíaz, Loudeiro, Montero and Roldán.)
Expansion team, Austin and Galaxy have three players each in the top 25 best-selling jerseys this year.
The irony of the list and the frustration for MLS officials is that the top 25 best-selling players do not include any of the New England Revolution, the best team currently in the league and already assured of the best record of the season and a chance for the most wins in the history of the competition.