Bryce Stanton @usborofan
Rochester New York FC winger Paulo Soares played a total of twenty minutes on Saturday. However he was not with Rochester in Northern Kentucky; instead, he was in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with the Cabo Verde National Team. Soares became the ninth active MLS Next Pro player to make an appearance for their country, which is no small feat for a third-tier league in the first year of its existence. In contrast, the two other third-tier leagues– the USL League One and NISA–only have eight players who have appeared internationally this year.
A credit to the MLS Next Pro and American soccer as a whole, five of those nine players are not yet twenty years old. Two players, Omari Glasgow and Isaac Angking, scored multiple international goals in the recent international break. This is an encouraging sign for the MLS Next Pro, as it shows that they are able to recruit and develop talent that can play with the best of the world. Two players, Aziz Abdu Kayondo and Paulo Soares, have appeared in matches for FIFA Top 100 ranked countries (Uganda and Cabo Verde).
List of active MLS Next Pro players to play internationally for senior teams as of 6/15/22
Isaac Angking, Columbus Cew 2, Puerto Rico, six appearances
Aziz Abdu Kayondo, Real Monarchs SLC, Uganda, six appearances
Alec Diaz, Toronto FC II, Puerto Rico, five appearances
Omari Glasgow, Minnesota United FC II, Guyana, four appearances
Dairon Reyes, Inter Miami CF II, Cuba, four appearances
Molik Khan, Minnesota United II. Trinidad and Tobago, one appearance
Abdi Mohamed, Columbus Crew 2, Somalia, one appearance
Colby Quinones, New England Revolution II, Puerto Rico, one appearance
Paulo Soares, Rochester NY FC, Cabo Verde, one appearance