Top 7 Shortest Midfielders In MLS Of All Time

Curious about the shortest midfielders in MLS history? Prepare to learn about the top 7 diminutive titans who, despite their height, reigned supreme on the soccer field.

Be careful not to underestimate them; their height may be lacking, but they’ve compensated with exceptional skill, agility and relentless determination.

Get set to journey into the captivating stories of these uniquely gifted players who have made a permanent impact on Major League Soccer.

1. Yeferson Solteldo – 159 cm (5 ft 2 in)

Yeferson Solteldo is a name that resonates with fans who appreciate the art of midfield mastery. Standing at just 5 feet 2 inches, this Venezuelan dynamo defies the stereotype that height is a prerequisite for soccer success.

His low center of gravity and agility make him a nightmare for defenders, allowing him to weave through the opposition like a hot knife through butter.

Now, let’s talk about his technical skills. Solteldo is a maestro when it comes to ball control and dribbling. He’s got that rare ability to change the game’s tempo at will.

One moment he’s holding up play, and the next, he’s launched a killer pass that splits the defense wide open. His vision on the field is nothing short of extraordinary, making him an invaluable asset to any team he plays for.

But what really sets Solteldo apart is his mental toughness. In a league where physicality often overshadows skill, he’s proven that mind over matter is more than just a cliché.

He’s not just surviving; he’s thriving. His tenacity and never-give-up attitude have won him not just games, but also the respect and admiration of both teammates and opponents.

So, if you’re ever watching an MLS game and you spot a shorter player who seems to be everywhere at once, making those around him look like they’re standing still, chances are you’re watching Yeferson Solteldo.

His impact on the game is immeasurable, and he’s a living testament to the fact that in soccer, size isn’t everything. It’s how you use what you’ve got that counts.

2. Sebastian Giovinco – 160 cm (5 ft 2 in

Despite his shorter stature, Giovinco’s ability on the football field is unquestionable. He has made a name for himself as one of the smallest midfielders in MLS history.

Yet, his height does not hinder him. His incredible agility and speed redefine the traditional perceptions of a midfielder, making him a formidable adversary.

He possesses an exceptional ability to find open spaces, evading defensive lines as though they are invisible.

One might assume he would struggle against taller opponents. However, this is far from the truth. He skillfully uses his low center of gravity to outwit defenders with remarkable ease.

Giovinco doesn’t just participate in soccer—he perfects it. Each move he makes is intentional and accurate, from precise passes to creating extraordinary goal-scoring opportunities.

He is living proof that in football, size isn’t the defining factor—it’s about skill, strategic thinking, and unwavering determination.

3. Joao Plata – 160 cm (5 ft 2 in)

Standing at only 5ft 2in, Joao Plata may not be the tallest player in his position, but his height is no reflection of his skill on the football field. This Ecuadorian powerhouse transforms every game into a personal spectacle.

  1. His Speed: Prepare to be amazed by how swiftly he outpaces taller defenders, leaving them confounded and in his wake.
  2. His Agility: His knack for maneuvering through opponents with grace keeps you riveted every time he possesses the ball.
  3. His Precision: It’s not merely about speed and agility, but precision plays a crucial role as well. His exact passes can dismantle defenses, leading to unexpected scoring opportunities.

Plata’s performance on the field is indisputable evidence that size doesn’t dictate success in football. It’s all about talent, resolve, and passion.

4. Maximiliano Moralez – 160 cm (5 ft 2 in)

Maximiliano Moralez, standing at 5ft 2in, is a testament to the fact that height doesn’t necessarily dictate success in football. Don’t be deceived by his height; he’s an undeniable powerhouse on the pitch.

As an Argentine professional footballer playing for New York City FC in Major League Soccer (MLS), Moralez has earned a reputation for his speed and nimbleness. It’s common to see him effortlessly outsmarting taller competitors.

Despite being one of the shortest midfielders in the history of MLS, he’s no novice when it comes to scoring goals and assisting his teammates. His low center of gravity provides him with superior balance, making it challenging for defenders to destabilize him.

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5. Luciano Acosta – 161 cm (5 ft 2 in)

Luciano Acosta, standing just a bit taller than Moralez at 5ft 2in, serves as a shining example that height doesn’t limit football success. Here are three characteristics of Acosta’s career that might enhance your admiration for him:

  1. His agility: Despite his small stature, he’s revered for his quick footwork and exceptional ball handling skills.
  2. His field vision: He possesses a remarkable knack for predicting plays and executing perfect passes.
  3. His tenacity: Acosta’s journey from early dismissals due to his size to a recognized professional soccer player is a motivational story of perseverance.

6. Frankie Amaya – 163 cm (5 ft 3 in)

At a height of 5ft 3in, Frankie Amaya stands just an inch taller than Acosta. Despite his smaller stature, Amaya has shown that determination and skill can indeed trump physical size in football.

His agility and speed often turn out to be too overwhelming for his opponents, irrespective of his shorter height.

Amaya takes advantage of his low center of gravity to outshine in one-on-one encounters and never backs down from engaging larger players.

His excellent ball control skills allow him to retain possession even under severe pressure. He also has a knack for understanding the game and making smart choices on the field.

7. Lorenzo Insigne – 163 cm (5 ft 3 in)

It might astonish you that Lorenzo Insigne, similar to Frankie Amaya, also has a height of 5ft 3in. Regardless of his smaller stature, Insigne has left a substantial mark in the soccer field.

  • Performance: The skill of Insigne outshines his height disadvantage. His quickness and agility often leave his taller rivals struggling to keep pace.
  • Achievements: He has secured multiple awards with Napoli, including the Coppa Italia.
  • Inspiration: His successful journey acts as a beacon of hope for budding footballers who are concerned about their height.

Keep in mind, it’s not the size of the athlete in the game; it’s the size of the game in the athlete. Let this wisdom serve as a reinforcement that height isn’t everything when it comes to excelling on the soccer field!


Contrary to popular belief, height does not dictate success in soccer. As evidence, consider these seven MLS midfielders, none of whom stand taller than 5 ft 5 in.

Their success on the field is a testament to their agility, precision, and intelligent play, not their verticality.

So when you’re watching a game, remember not to underestimate the shorter player. They might just catch you off guard with a pivotal move. After all, the essence of soccer lies not in size, but in skill and spirit!

Manuel Esposito

Hello everyone! My name is Manuel and I've recently got my PhD in Sport and Excercise Science at the University of Portsmouth. I'm raised and born in New York, and I've been a big fan of soccer my whole life. Soccer is the reason why I got my PhD in Sport and Excercise Science, and my goal with this blog is to help you improve your soccer techniques, strategies, and knowledge!

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