Current Nigerian players in the MLS

Current Nigerian players in the MLS
Credit: @MNUFC on X

The Major League Soccer (MLS) continues to attract top talent from around the globe, and the presence of Nigerian players is a testament to the league's growing reputation.

Currently, five Super Eagles players showcase their skills in the MLS, bringing their unique flair and talent to the American football scene.

These players are William Agada, Ibrahim Aliyu, Sunusi Ibrahim, Obinna Nwobodo, and Tani Oluwaseyi.

Each of them plays a crucial role for their respective teams, contributing not only to their club's success but also enhancing the profile of Nigerian football on an international stage.

This article delves into the careers and impact of these Nigerian players in the MLS.

Meet the current Nigerian players active in the MLS

Sunusi Ibrahim

Nigerian players: Sunusi Ibrahim
Credit: @NiltonJorge on X

Sunusi Ibrahim, born on 1 October 2002 in Keffi, Nigeria, is a professional footballer currently playing as a forward for Major League Soccer club CF Montréal.

Ibrahim began his career in the youth system of FC Basira in Lafia before joining the Nigerian Professional Football League side Nasarawa United.

In the 2019 season, he emerged as the league's joint-top scorer, netting 10 goals in 22 matches.

Despite tying with Mfon Udoh for the top scorer spot, Ibrahim was awarded the Golden Boot due to having fewer cautions over the season.

After a successful stint with Nasarawa United, Ibrahim moved on following the Federation Cup in 2019 and joined 36 Lion Football Club in Lagos in 2020.

His talent caught the eye of CF Montréal, and on 12 January 2021, he signed with the Canadian MLS club.

International career

Ibrahim's impressive performances in the 2019 season earned him a call-up to the Nigerian national team for the 2020 African Nations Championship qualifiers.

He made his international debut on 22 September 2019, scoring Nigeria's only goal in a 1–4 defeat against Togo.

Later that year, in November, he was also called up to the Nigeria under-23 side, making his debut on 9 November 2019 in the African U-23 Cup of Nations qualifiers against Ivory Coast.

William Agada

William “Willy” Agada, born on 17 September 1999, is a Nigerian professional footballer who currently plays as a forward for Major League Soccer club Sporting KC.

Agada began his football journey with Mighty Jets F.C. in the Nigeria National League, where he showcased his early talent and potential.

Agada's international career kicked off in the 2017/18 season when he joined the youth team of Hapoel Katamon Jerusalem.

Midway through the season, he was loaned to Maccabi Tel Aviv's youth team, where he made a significant impact by scoring a total of 22 league goals across both clubs.

His goal-scoring prowess caught the attention of many.

In the 2018/19 season, Agada returned to Hapoel Katamon Jerusalem, competing in the Israeli Liga Leumit, and continued to impress by netting 8 and 15 league goals over two seasons, respectively.

His consistent performance earned him a loan move to Hapoel Haifa for the 2020/21 season, where he added 6 league goals to his tally.

Agada returned to Hapoel Katamon Jerusalem for the 2021/22 season, now renamed Hapoel Jerusalem, and became the club's top scorer with 8 league goals.

His contributions were vital in helping the club retain its place in the Israeli Premier League.

At the end of the 2021/22 season, Agada made a significant move to the MLS, signing with Sporting KC.

His journey from the Nigerian National League to the MLS underscores his growth and adaptability as a forward, making him a player to watch in American soccer.

Ibrahim Aliyu

Ibrahim Aliyu, born on 16 January 2002, is a Nigerian professional footballer who currently plays as a winger for Major League Soccer club Houston Dynamo.

His journey in professional football began when he went on trial with Croatian club NK Lokomotiva Zagreb in January 2020.

Shortly thereafter, on 9 February, the 18-year-old signed with the club and spent the remainder of the 2019–20 season playing with the youth teams.

Aliyu made his first-team debut on 2 October 2020 in a Prva HNL match against Istra 1961, coming on as a substitute in the 72nd minute.

He scored his first goal for Lokomotiva on 1 November 2020 in a 1–1 draw with Dinamo Zagreb.

Throughout the season, he made 19 league appearances and scored 2 goals, helping Lokomotiva secure an 8th place finish.

In the 2021–22 season, Aliyu continued to shine, scoring a brace in a 4–0 victory over Istra 1961 on 14 August 2021.

He ended the season with 34 appearances and 6 goals, contributing to Lokomotiva's 5th place finish.

On 5 March 2023, he scored another brace in a thrilling 4–3 victory against Croatian powerhouse Hajduk Split.

Aliyu's impressive performances caught the attention of Major League Soccer, and on 25 April 2023, he joined Houston Dynamo on a three-year deal with team options for 2026 and 2027.

The transfer fee was reportedly €2.1 million. Aliyu's move to the MLS marks a significant step in his career, bringing his talent to a new audience and league.

International career

In 2019, Aliyu represented the Nigeria U20 national team, where he scored 4 goals. His international experience highlights his potential and promise as a rising star in Nigerian football.

Aliyu has expressed his admiration for Real Madrid and considers Kylian Mbappé as a role model.

His journey from Nigeria to Europe and now to the United States is a testament to his dedication and talent in football.

Obinna Nwobodo

Obinna Emmanuel Nwobodo, born on 29 November 1996, began his football journey with FC Inter Enugu while completing his high school education in Enugu State, Nigeria.

He was scouted during a high school competition and subsequently played for FC Inter in the Nigeria Nationwide League (NNL) and State FA Cup.

His standout performance in a preseason friendly against Enugu Rangers led to a professional contract with the six-time Nigerian league champions for the 2015–16 season.

Nwobodo quickly ascended to the first team at Enugu Rangers, donning the number 8 shirt and establishing himself as a central midfielder.

He made his league debut in the season opener against Kano Pillars and soon became a crucial player for the team.

His playmaking skills and distribution were vital in leading Rangers to the top of the table during the 2016 season.

Nwobodo played a pivotal role in Enugu Rangers' 2016 title win, ending the club's 32-year wait for a 7th league title.

He provided half of the assists for Chisom Egbuchulam's 16 goals and scored a memorable goal-of-the-season contender against Ikorodu United with a 40-yard chip shot.

His impressive performances earned him the team's Player of the Season award, contributing 7 goals and 10 assists.

On 13 April 2022, Nwobodo signed with Major League Soccer club FC Cincinnati as a Designated Player, with a contract running through the 2024 season and a club option for 2025.

Since joining FC Cincinnati, he has continued to showcase his midfield prowess.

With Enugu Rangers, Nwobodo won the Nigeria Professional Football League title in 2016. He also helped FC Cincinnati secure the Supporters' Shield in 2023.

On the international stage, he was part of the Nigeria U20 team that won the African U-20 Championship in 2015.

Obinna Nwobodo's journey from the youth leagues of Nigeria to Major League Soccer underscores his talent and dedication, making him a key player to watch in the MLS.

Tani Oluwaseyi

Tanitoluwa Oluwatimilehin “Tani” Oluwaseyi, born on 15 May 2000 in Abuja, Nigeria, moved to Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, at a young age.

He attended St. Joan of Arc Catholic Secondary School, where he excelled in soccer, leading the Angels to a 17–0 record and a Provincial High School Championship as a senior.

As a team captain, Oluwaseyi scored 30 goals and provided ten assists in his final year.

Over his high school career, he scored a total of 68 goals and was a three-time MVP.

Oluwaseyi also played club soccer for the GPS Academy, where he won the Golden Boot Award at the 2017 Super Cup in Northern Ireland and led his team to multiple championships.

In 2018, Oluwaseyi committed to St. John's University, where he played college football for four years.

Despite missing most of his senior season and having a truncated sophomore season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he made 49 appearances, scoring 20 goals and tallying ten assists.

Oluwaseyi earned several accolades, including BIG EAST All-Freshman Team selection in 2018, BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year in 2019, and multiple First Team All-BIG EAST honors.

In 2021, Oluwaseyi played briefly for Manhattan SC in the USL League Two and for New York Pancyprian-Freedoms in the EPSL.

He was also on the roster for NPSL side FC Golden State but did not make an appearance.

Oluwaseyi was selected 17th overall by Minnesota United in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft and signed a one-year deal with the club.

During the 2022 season, he played for Minnesota United 2 in MLS Next Pro.

In 2023, he was loaned to USL Championship side San Antonio FC, where he had an impressive stint, scoring multiple hat-tricks and breaking the club's single-season scoring record with 13 goals.

On March 2, 2024, Oluwaseyi scored his first MLS goal, a stoppage-time equalizer in a 1-1 draw against the Columbus Crew, marking a significant milestone in his professional career.

Born in Nigeria and having spent his teenage years in Canada, Oluwaseyi is eligible to represent both the Nigerian and Canadian national teams.

His impressive performances at various levels of soccer make him a promising prospect for international play.

Table of Nigerian players active in the MLS

Player Club Years
Ibrahim Aliyu Houston 2023–Present
William Agada Kansas City 2022–Present
Sunusi Ibrahim Montreal 2021–Present
Obinna Nwobodo Cincinnati 2022–Present
Tani Oluwaseyi Minnesota 2023–Present

This article was most recently revised and updated 3 weeks ago

Rababe Koussaimi, a 22-year-old journalist, is deeply passionate about the world of sports. She grew up in a footballing environment, supporting both Bayern Munich and Wydad Athletic Club. She began her English journalism career by hosting a podcast for the first English radio station in Morocco. Currently, the Moroccan journalist channels her enthusiasm into writing and conducting extensive research, creating insightful and engaging content for GoalBall Live readers.