Memorable Frenchmen of Major League Soccer

France has contributed massively to the sport of professional soccer. From the national team winning the World Cup twice already – before heading to Qatar 2022 – and the European Championship twice, to producing some of the greatest players ever to grace the field of play. Ligue 1 – the highest competition in France – also rates as one of the best competitions in European club soccer.

Think France, and you’ll automatically conjure up images in your head of the greats, such as Thierry Henry, Zinedine Zidane and Didier Deschamps. Younger readers may prefer Karim Benzema, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe. French soccer has either influenced or is currently influencing the biggest and best leagues across the globe. From Real Madrid in the Spanish La Liga to PSG in Ligue 1. Chelsea in England, Bayern Munich from Germany, and Juventus of Italian Serie A fame. You’ll find French the roots of French football in each.

It’s not only the most famous competitions in Europe that French players have a heavy influence in. Major League Soccer isn’t the most famous or best-loved tournament in the eyes of soccer fans. But the MLS is a cash-rich competition, and the best-performing teams have used their riches to import some famous names from the Les Bleus squad. Check the MLS betting apps, and you’ll often find a Frenchman you are familiar with near the head of the top goalscorer betting lists.

Not every lover of soccer has experienced following MLS. Still, it’s a soccer competition well worth having an interest in, especially if you are a lover of all things connected to Les Bleus.

Thierry Henry

Is there a bigger name in French soccer history? That remains open to debate, but there aren’t too many, that’s for sure. Henry was so often the star of the French national team and was a powerhouse in the English Premier League as he blasted fellow Frenchman Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal team to glory. Thierry remains a cult hero in London, and he’s not without his supporters in the United States either.

Henry played out the last few seasons of his career in MLS, playing for the New York Red Bulls. He signed in 2010 and hit more than 50 goals for NY during his stay, which lasted five seasons. Henry was one of the first real stars of soccer to move to MLS and paved the way for others to follow a path that has become popular with some of the greats since. Henry is one of the greatest Frenchmen ever to play soccer, and he’s one of the greatest imports ever to impact Major League Soccer.

Romain Alessandrini

In this list, Romain Alessandrini isn’t as popular as the man mentioned before. Still, he was every bit as important to his employers and fans in the United States of America. Romain had spells in France with the likes of Rennes and Marseille before switching Stateside when signing for LA Galaxy in 2017, and he remained there until 2019.

During his stint in MLS, Alessandrini played 61 games and scored 24 goals, but he left in controversy when taking to the social media platform Instagram to announce his departure ahead of the 2020 campaign. He will be remembered as an all-action player with bags of pace and a willingness to get forward and score goals.

Aurelien Collin

This is a name that followers of the MLS will remember fondly for his efforts in the US. The French defender played for Sporting Kansas, Orlando City, New York Red Bulls, and Philadelphia Union between 2011 and 2021. He played most games for Kansas, appearing no fewer than 107 times, chipping in with 11 goals.

Collin then moved around and struggled to find the same level of consistency at his other clubs in MLS. He did play 39 times for New York but failed to find the net before taking part in just six matches during his short stint in Philadelphia.

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