Major League Soccer

Top 5 most expensive players to transfer out of MLS

Lizzy Becherano
Ricardo Pepi is the latest MLS player to make his move to Europe
Ricardo Pepi is the latest MLS player to make his move to Europe / Shaun Clark/GettyImages
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FC Dallas forward Ricardo Pepi is the latest Major League Soccer player to make headlines for a record-breaking transfer to a European team.

The talented youngster joined FC Augsburg for a whopping $20m, but he isn't the only one to have had a very expensive trade.

Here are Major League Soccer's most expensive outbound transfers in history...

5. Jozy Altidore (Villarreal)

Jozy Altidore cost Villarreal $10m in 2008
Jozy Altidore cost Villarreal $10m in 2008 / DIEGO TUSON/GettyImages

In the summer of 2008, Jozy Altidore made headlines with his move from the New York Red Bulls to Villarreal for a surprising $10m. 

While his time in Spain was short lived, making only 22 appearances for the Spanish side, Altidore went on to make his impact on European football. He recorded 70 Premier League matches with Hull City and Sunderland before finding his groove with Eredivisie side AZ Alkmaar, where he netted 51 goals. 

Altidore has since returned to MLS, joining Toronto FC in 2015. He has 79 goals in all competitions with the Canadian side, winning MLS Cup, an MLS Supporters' Shield and three Canadian Championships.

4. Gonzalo Martinez (Al-Nassr)

Gonzalo Nicolás Martínez
Gonzalo Nicolás Martínez joined Al-Nassr for $18m / Simon Holmes/GettyImages

Gonzalo Martinez stands in fourth after transferring to Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr for a substantial $18m fee in the summer of 2020. 

The player first arrived at Atlanta United during his peak, coming to Major League Soccer as the reigning South American Player of the Year and a star for River Plate. He only managed to record seven goals and 11 assists in 39 appearances before being whisked away to a new club. 

3. Ricardo Pepi (Augsburg)

Ricardo Pepi
Ricardo Pepi joins FC Augsburg for $20m / Kirk Irwin/GettyImages

Ricardo Pepi makes the list after a surprise signing with FC Augsburg for a club-record transfer fee of $20m. Teams around Europe were interested in the youngster, with Wolfsburg and Wolves among those thought to be in the lead before Augsburg swooped in to make the deal. 

The now former FC Dallas player made sure to break records and rewrite history with the details of his trade before following his dreams in Europe. He shattered the norm for highest price paid for an American MLS player, a title Jozy Altidore previously held with his $10m move to Villarreal.

2. Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich)

Alphonso Davies
Alphonso Davies joined Bayern Munich for $22m / Alexander Hassenstein/GettyImages

In the winter of 2019, Alphonso Davies made history by signing with Bundesliga royalty Bayern Munich for $22m ($13m up front plus incentives). 

Incentives differ deal-by-deal but they are some combination of personal performance and team performance. As of this season, he's made more than 100 appearances for Bayern. 

Though no confirmation has been made if all incentives have been hit, Davies has become Bayern Munich's first-choice left back and they've won the Bundesliga every year he's been around, twice won the German cup and even won the Champions League. 

 He's been named to Bundesliga and UEFA teams of the season.

1. Miguel Almiron (Newcastle)

Miguel Almiron
Newcastle signed Miguel Almiron for an MLS record transfer of $26m / Stu Forster/GettyImages

Miguel Almiron holds the MLS record for the biggest transfer out of the league after signing with EPL side Newcastle for $26m in the winter of 2019.

Almiron lifted the MLS Cup during his time with Atlanta United, and went on to record 21 goals and 28 assists in 62 regular-season appearances before his departure.  He was also voted MLS' best newcomer in 2017.

The Paraguay international has become an important player for Newcastle in his three years there to date.

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