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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter October 15, 2010

From One-and-Done to Seasoned Veterans: A Demographic Analysis of Individual Career Length in Major League Soccer

Nathaniel B Boyden and James R Carey

Although there is a modest amount of literature analyzing the career prospects of athletes in United States (U.S.) based football, basketball, and baseball leagues, little is known about the career prospects of professional soccer players in the U.S. In our analysis of Major League Soccer players, using a sample of approximately 1,100 players and 3,435 player-year observations, we identify the time-varying and time-constant variables that affect player career duration. Initial career expectancy was 2.4 years, more than a quarter of all players exit the league after one year, and the risks of career exit never fall below 12%. In addition, relative to U.S.-born players, foreign-born players face a disproportionately high exit rate.

Published Online: 2010-10-15

©2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston

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