Major League Soccer

5 MLS players featuring in 2021 Africa Cup of Nations

Lizzy Becherano
Columbus Crew player Jonathan Mensah will featuring in the 2021 edition of AFCON
Columbus Crew player Jonathan Mensah will featuring in the 2021 edition of AFCON / Emilee Chinn/GettyImages

The Africa Cup of Nations is fast approaching, set to kick off on Sunday January 9 in Cameroon and concluding on February 6.

Five Major League Soccer players will be competing in the tournament during the off season.

Here's a breakdown of all the MLS players set to feature in the tournament...

1. Jonathan Mensah

2021 Campeones Cup - Deportivo Cruz Azul v Columbus Crew
Jonathan Mensah to feature for Ghana in AFCON / Emilee Chinn/GettyImages

Jonathan Mensah is set to feature for Ghana in the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations, serving as an anchor of his country’s backline. The Columbus Crew player is no stranger to international competition, racking up 68 senior caps since his 2009 debut. 

Mensah returns to the tournament after having played every minute of Ghana's campaign in 2015 that saw them reach the final before ultimately falling in penalty kicks to Ivory Coast.

2. Teenage Hadebe

Teenage Hadebe set to feature in AFCON / JAVIER SORIANO/GettyImages

The Houston Dynamo center-back returns to action with Zimbabwe in the upcoming tournament. Hadebe has made 32 appearances for his country since debuting in 2014, recording four goals during that time. 

This will not be his first AFCON tournament after featuring in the 2019 edition, playing all three group stage matches. He was called up to Zimbabwe’s roster in 2017 but did not make an appearance.

3. Nouhou Tolo

Nouhou Tolo
Seattle Sounders FC fan favorite Nouhou set to feature for Cameroon / Lyndsay Radnedge/ISI Photos/GettyImages

Seattle Sounders fan favorite Nouhou is on the roster for AFCON host nation Cameroon. The defender has only made six senior appearances for the  Indomitable Lions since debuting in 2017. 

Nouhou is sure to make an impression in AFCON after becoming a regular for the MLS side, racking up 110 first-team appearances and getting named an All-Star for the first time in 2021.

4. Olivier Mbazio

Philadelphia Union player Olivier Mbazio will be joining Cameroon in Group A as the host nation competes in the 2021 AFCON. The right-back has made eight senior-team appearances since debuting in 2020, and will be looking to gain experience with his side. 

The 24-year old has become a regular for Jim Curtin’s Philadelphia Union squad, starting 28 of his 30 appearances while dishing out four assists across 2,489 minutes.

5. Jamiro Monteiro

Jamiro Monteiro
Philadelphia Union player Jamiro Monteiro set to feature in AFCON / Perry McIntyre/ISI Photos/GettyImages

Philadelphia Union will send a second representative to the tournament, seeing 28-year-old Monteiro feature for Cape Verde. The player has made 16 senior appearances for the African nation since debuting in 2016 during AFCON qualifiers. 

Monteiro has recorded one international goal, scoring in a 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Liberia.