MLS Most Valuable XI – Who Makes the Cut?

The MLS Most Valuable XI

  • Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi is the MLS’s most valuable player, with a market value of $31.8 Million 
  • Atlanta’s Thiago Almada ranks second, with a market value of $28.6 Million 
  • LA Galaxy’s Riqui Puig, FC Cincinnati’s Miles Robinson, and Columbus Crew’s Cucho Hernández also make the XI 

A new study has revealed the MLS most valuable XI, with soccer legend Lionel Messi leading the way as the league’s most valuable player at $31.8 Million. 

The study, conducted by sports streaming experts Live Sports on TV, collected data on player values within the Major Soccer League; the players with the highest value in each position determined the most valuable XI. 
Goalkeeper: Patrick Schulte | Value: $3.1 Million 
Team: Columbus Crew

Patrick Schulte is one of US soccer’s rising stars. Drafted by Columbus in 2022, Schulte quickly stepped up in 2023, leading Colombus Crew to an MLS Cup victory and earning a call-up to the U.S. Men’s National Team. 
Right Back: Alex Roldán | Value: $3.7 Million 
Team: Seattle Sounders 

The El Salvador captain has become a peripheral figure for Seattle Sounders since joining, and has impressed so far this season through a string of impressive performances – most notably during the Sounders 5-0 win over CF Montreal where he managed to score, as well as keep a clean sheet. 
Center Back: Miles Robinson | Value: $5.3 Million 
Team: FC Cincinatti 

Over the years, Miles Robinson has proven himself to be one of the most reliable centre-backs in the MLS. The USMNT star won numerous accolades during his time at Atlanta, including the MLS in 2018 and the US Open Cup in 2019.  

Robinson signed for Cincinatti as a free agent in January 2024 following an Achilles injury, and now looks to re-establish himself as one of the best centre-backs the US has to offer. 
Center Back: Tomas Avilés | Value: $5.3 Million 
Team: Inter Miami 
Signed from Racing Club in 2023, Avilés is a young Argentinian defender that is quickly making a name for himself in world soccer. A player with undeniable talent and potential, the young centre-back has now cemented himself as a regular starter in Inter Miami’s team, playing 645 minutes already this season. 

Left Back: Caleb Wiley | Value: $5.3 Million 
Team: Atlanta United 

Named in American Soccer Now’s ‘Top 20 Young Americans to Watch’ during the 2023 Major League Soccer season, Caleb Wiley is one of the United States’ most promising young soccer players.  

Wiley has established himself as a regular starter in Atlanta’s team over the last year and has put in a number of impressive performances this season as he looks to continue his exciting development. 
Center Midfield: Riqui Puig | Value: $12.7 Million 
Team: LA Galaxy 

A product of Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy, Riqui Puig was signed by LA Galaxy back in 2022 after struggling to break into the Barcelona senior team.  

The technically gifted midfielder certainly didn’t take long to settle into the MLS and has since become a key player for LA Galaxy, showcasing a series of outstanding performances this season which will ensure that his value continues to keep rising. 
Center Attacking Midfield: Hany Mukhtar | Value: $12.7 Million 
Team: Nashville SC 

Mukhtar’s exceptional skills and relentless drive have become a predominant feature of Nashville’s play, earning him multiple accolades during his time in the US, including the MLS MVP award and winning the Golden Boot after an incredible season in 2022.  

Mukhtar also boasts the fastest hat trick in MLS history, netting three goals in just six minutes during a 2021 match against Chicago Fire FC. 
Center Attacking Midfield: Thiago Almada | Value: $28.6 Million 
Team: Atlanta United 

Thiago Almada became the first active MLS player to ever win the World Cup when he helped lift the trophy in 2022 with Argentina. Almada’s talent is unquestionable, being recognized as the league’s most promising young talent in 2023, and will undoubtedly be garnering huge interest from some of world soccer’s biggest sides. 

Right Winger: Lionel Messi | Value: $31.8 Million 
Team: Inter Miami 

Winner of eight Ballon-D’Or’s, three UEFA Champions Leagues, and one World Cup, Messi continues to etch his name into the Soccer history books, producing numerous eye-watering performances for Inter Miami and further establishing himself as one of the best players to ever grace the game. 
Left Winger: Denis Bouanga | Value: $10.6 Million 
Team: LA FC 

Denis Bouanga has been a consistent performer throughout his career, but he enjoyed his most prolific season in 2023, scoring 38 goals in 48 appearances across all competitions, quickly gaining a reputation as one of the most fearsome attacking threats in the MLS.  

Bouanga’s electrifying speed, agility, and technical ability have solidified him as a fan favourite at LA FC. 
Center Forward: Cucho Hernández | Value: $13.8 Million 
Team: Columbus Crew 

Signing for a club record fee of $10 Million from Watford in 2022, Cucho Hernandez joined Colombus Crew with many people expecting great things from the Colombian international.  

Cucho scored nine goals in 16 appearances during his first season in the MLS and continued this prolific form into the 2023 season where he scored 24 goals in 36 appearances across all competitions. Still only 24 years old, it is likely that the best is still to come for Cucho. 

MLS Most Valuable XI – Total Value: $127.6 Million 

A spokesperson for Live Sports on TV commented on the findings:  

“The MLS Most Valuable XI is certainly fascinating. While the high market value of Messi at Inter Miami is undeniable, it’s refreshing to see talent spread across so many clubs.” 
“However, this wasn’t always the case. Ten years ago, designated players were often concentrated in a handful of teams like LA Galaxy. Now, the financial muscle is more evenly distributed, which fosters a more competitive environment and attracts a wider range of young talent.” 

Insights Courtesy


1.Identified the most valuable players in the MLS based on their value from 

2. Sorted the players by position 

3. Ranked the top 5 players in each position based on value. For any ties, their FOTmob average match rating for 2024 was used to determine the winner 

5. Identified who would make the XI based on the popular 4-3-3 formation (GK, 2 CBs, RB, LB, 3 CMs, RW, LW & ST) 

6. Converted Euro values to USD using current exchange rate  

All stats, values, ratings, and exchange rates correct as of 04/16/24 


Player Value  
FOTMOB Rating 
Patrick Schulte 3m 6.69 
Maxime Crepeau 3m 6.32 
Roman Burki 2.5m 6.66 
Chris Brady 2.5m 6.52 
Zach Steffen 2.5m 6.56 

Right Back 

Player Value  
FOTMOB Rating 
Alex Roldan 3.5m 7.24 
Brandon Bye 3.5m 7.22 
Brooks Lennon 2m 7.68 
Aaron Herrera 2m 7.83 
DeAndre Yedlin 2m 7.08 

Left Back 

Player Value  
FOTMOB Rating 
Caleb Wiley 5m 7.25 
Kai Wagner 5m 7.19 
Omar Campos 5m 6.96 
Nouhou 4.5m 7.13 
Dejuan Jones 4.5m 6.7 

Center Back 

Player Value  
FOTMOB Rating 
Miles Robinson 5m 7.26 
Tomas Aviles 5m 6.73 
Jakob Glesnes 4m 7.12 
Jack Elliot 3.5m 
Yeimar Gomez 3.5m 6.94 

Center Midfield (CDM,CM,CAM) 

Player Value  
FOTMOB Rating 
Thiago Almada 27m 7.76 
Hany Mukhtar 12m 
Riqui Puig 12m 7.87 
Sebastian Driussi 10m 7.04 
Federico Redondo 9m 7.76 

Right Winger 

Player Value  
FOTMOB Rating 
Lionel Messi 30m 8.6 
Facundo Torres 14m 6.75 
Joseph Paintsil 9.5m 7.96 
Gabriel Pec 8m 6.89 
Liel Abada 7m 6.34 

Left Winger 

Player Value  
FOTMOB Rating 
Denis Bouanga 10m 7.43 
Talles Magno 10m n/a 
Diego Rossi 7m 6.84 
Alan Velasco 7m n/a 
Lorenzo Insigne 6m 7.36 

Center Forward 

Player Value  
FOTMOB Rating 
Cucho Hernandez 13m 7.36 
Hugo Cuypers 11m 6.9 
Jesus Ferreira 9m 7.08 
Petar Musa 8m 7.02 
Aaron Boupendza 6.5m 6.7