Macoumba Kandji #9 of Houston Dynamo controls the ball during the Eastern Conference Semifinal game against Sporting KC at LiveStrong Sporting Park on November 7, 2012 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Major League Soccer has set a record for the fifth consecutive year for the racial diversity of its players.

The finding comes from a study released Thursday by the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport.

MLS earned a combined grade of a B-plus in racial and gender hiring practices, up from a B in 2011. Its grade for gender hiring practices rose from a C-plus to a B. The league scored a B-plus/A-minus for racial hiring.

Fifty-one percent of MLS’s players are minorities, marking the first time the minority percentage is greater than that of white players. MLS also recorded the largest percentage of international players in league history at 48 percent.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.