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Foreign-born players point to quality of play as a key reason for joining MLS

Foreign-born players point to quality of play as a key reason for joining MLS

When Dutch World Cup standout Nigel de Jong left Europe for the Galaxy last month, he said soccer was only one factor in his decision.

"It's the total package," said De Jong, who bought his way out of a $9-million contract extension in Italy to sign a $500,000 deal with Major League Soccer. "You see what America, what the United States, can offer you apart from playing football."

De Jong isn't the only one to reach that conclusion. Last season, nearly half the players on the 20 MLS rosters came from outside the U.S. and Canada, a jump of nearly 20% over the last decade. And the league, which kicks off its 21st season Sunday when the Galaxy plays D.C. United...

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