What physical attributes do you need to succeed at football? Height, after all, seems important as Cristiano Ronaldo is somewhat of a giant, right? Ah, maybe not, because what about Lionel Messi? He’s rather short and he’s probably better than Ronaldo. There’s no hard and fast rule to say you need to be tall to be good at football but positions like goalkeeper and defender will certainly benefit from having some big physicality and presence. Here’s our countdown to find the tallest MLS player in 2023…

Tallest MLS player 2023

10) Omar Gonzalez, 195 cm, New England Revolution

Starting our list of tallest players in MLS is a veteran of the game. Omar Gonzalez stands at 6’5’’.

The contemporary New England Revolution defender might not play that many games under Bruce Arena’s current system but undoubtedly serves as a pillar of inspiration as a USMNT legend. Of course, being a Texas native he perfectly fits the ‘everything is bigger in Texas’ phrase.

9) Jack Elliott, 196 cm, Philadelphia Union

The Englishman stands tall at 6’6’’ in the heart of the Philadelphia Union back line. Maybe Jack Elliott’s stature is thanks to an American upbringing during his formative sports years, as he ditched the Fulham Academy to enrol in a college soccer program at West Virginia University.

Now aged 27, he’s one of the tallest players in the league and important to the Union.

    

8) Shanyder Borgelin, 196 cm, Inter Miami CF

When assembling this list for the tallest MLS player in 2023, you’d anticipate it to be made up of goalkeepers and hearty defenders, almost exclusively.

Well, Shanyder Boreglin bucks that trend. The 21-year-old forward is on the verge of breaking into the Inter Miami CF first-team having made a few MLS appearances and even scoring a goal. The incredibly tall player might however be put down the pecking order when Lionel Messi enters the fray.

7) Jackson Ragen, 198 cm, Seattle Sounders

There’s a towering presence at Lumen Field in the Seattle Sounders defense. Jackson Ragen is now somewhat revered as a Seattle-native playing for his hometown club which happens to be one of the best in America.

It all could have been very different, however, as he was originally drafted by Chicago Fire but he opted to play more college soccer and eventually got his move back to the Sounders.

6) Javier Otero, 198 cm, Orlando City SC

Orlando City SC has got one of the tallest MLS players in 2023 in waiting. Their reserve keeper Javier Otero might be only 20 years old but still stands at 6’6’’.

    

The Venezuelan youngster has been seen on the bench a few times in 2023 but is predominantly playing in MLS Next Pro with the B team.

5) Ben Martino, 198 cm, Nashville SC

Another keeper in the youth ranks standing at 6’6’’ is Nashville SC’s Ben Martino. He’s been named on a few bench lists but hasn’t been called upon for first-team action just yet.

For the moment, he will continue to play in the franchise’s MLS Next Pro teams until he is ready for first-team responsibilities.

4) Ben Lundt, 198 cm, St. Louis City SC

Ben Lundt is another player for the collection of 6’6’’ goalkeepers who are behind someone else in terms of the number one spot. Ben Lundt has the hard task of removing the club captain and former Borussia Dortmund shot-stopper, Roman Burki.

A tall task by all accounts, especially given that Burki is in contention to be one of the best players in MLS this season. Lundt has been afforded game time in the US Open Cup, however.

3) Luka Gavran, 198 cm, Toronto FC

Given all the problems at Toronto FC, Luka Gravan might be called upon sooner rather than later as Sean Johnson for the most part has performed below expectations.

He’s been sighted on the MLS bench and given that Toronto has struggled, what’s the harm in trying out a 20-year-old 6’6’’ keeper?

2) Hunter Sulte, 201 cm, Portland Timbers

People from Alaska have to be physically strong to cope with the harsh demands of the extremely cold weather. Hunter Sulte had no problem with that with his 6’7’’ stature, which of course gives him a great command of the area.

The 21-year-old has yet to keep a clean sheet in MLS Next Pro but has been training with the first team and even played in the US Open Cup.

1) Matthew Nocita, 203 cm, New York Red Bulls

Officially, the tallest MLS player in 2023 is Matthew Nocita. While originally a California native, he spent some time in the US Navy where he eventually resurfaced on the East Coast by signing with the New York Red Bulls.

At the age of 23, Nocita is predominantly still a part of the second team in MLS Next Pro. However, the defender is often seen on the bench as part of the first-team squad but he just isn’t being picked to make a difference mid-game. There’s no doubt that he if he shows the technical skills with New York Red Bulls II that he will debut for the first team, as he already has the physicality to succeed as a dominant defender.

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