Top MLS Players With the Highest Social Interactions Among Fans

March 2019 marked the beginning of the 24th Major League Soccer season. For the first time the league featured 24 teams, including brand new FC Cincinnati. After last year’s additions of famous international players Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney, the first month of MLS play did not disappoint. Last year’s champion Atlanta United find themselves at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. LAFC, who is just starting their second season in the league, are leading the Western Conference after the first month of the regular season. Based on social interactions, we have determined the Top 10 MLS players on social during the first month of regular season play.

Key Insights

Hat Trick on the Field, Success on Social

Wayne Rooney and DC United have started this season off strong. With three million interactions and a hat trick in his team’s home opener, Rooney sits at the number one spot in our March 2019 Rankings. His 3 million interactions among fans were generated from 50 posts across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Although he boasts a follower count of 55.6M, Rooney gained an impressive 39.6k followers during the month of March. His Instagram post prior to DC United’s game against Orlando City and Rooney’s former teammate Luis Nani generated over 300k likes and almost 1k comments, his most popular post of the month.

For Club and Country

Jonathon Dos Santos is a midfielder who plays for LA Galaxy during the MLS season. The second to last week of March, Dos Santos joined the Mexican National team in friendlies against Paraguay and Chile. With 3.9 million social followers, Dos Santos generated 542.3K interactions and jumped six spots in the Hookit rankings from last month, landing himself at #4. His Instagram post after scoring his first international goal was his top post of the month with 108.7k likes. Dos Santos already has one goal for LA Galaxy this season, helping his team earn a spot in 3rd place in the Western Conference and 1st place in Social Interactions after the first month of the regular season.

Despite the Struggle

Josef Martinez set fire to the MLS during his first two seasons in the league. In 2018, he earned three MVP awards and set the single season scoring record. His team, Atlanta United, shattered attendance records and earned the MLS Cup in 2018. The first month of the 2019 season has not found Atlanta and Martinez in familiar territory. Atlanta United has dropped to nearly the bottom of their conference and Martinez has scored only one goal. Despite that, he has only dropped one spot in the rankings to number 6. Martinez generated 261.1K interactions on 6 posts in March, his most popular being this instagram post, made during the international break while he was playing with the Venezuelan National team.

The Wrap Up

As the season continues, anything could happen. The first month of Major League Soccer play brought us new players in the Top 10, amazing goals, and some shocking upsets. Three of the Top-10 players are on LA Galaxy, while no players from neighboring team LAFC made the list. LA Galaxy was the number one ranked team on social media with 1.9 million interactions.  Atlanta United and LAFC following behind them with 1.8 million and 1.4 million respectively. The season has only just started and there is plenty of time for us to see some new names appear in the Top-10 each month.
Note: All data is from official Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram Business accounts. Any personal Instagram account data is not included in these rankings.

Written by Sophia Leksan
Sophia studied Information Systems at Loyola Marymount University while being a member of the D1 Women’s Soccer team. She is currently studying to earn her Master’s of Sports Administration at Northwestern University. In her free time, she enjoys playing soccer and exploring Chicago.



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