Home  »    »    »    »  Hit or miss: Five Premier League players that went to the MLS

Hit or miss: Five Premier League players that went to the MLS

| 02.01.2015

Liverpool (13/2 with Coral for a top four finish) captain and Anfield legend, Steven Gerrard, has confirmed that he would be leaving the club after a 17-year career.

The former England skipper calls a halt on a successful stint in Red, after guiding the Anfield outfit to 11 major trophies, including an historic Champions League triumph in 2005.

Kop idol Gerrard now looks set to follow in the footsteps of many previous Premier League stars, by joining up with a franchise in the MLS.

Coral football experts take a look at five former Premier League players who have been successful on their travels across the Atlantic and who have failed in the USA.

Robbie Keane
The Republic of Ireland’s all-time top scorer has been extremely successful after his move from Spurs to LA Galaxy in 2011, scoring an amazing 53 goals in 84 appearances.

Former Totteham frontman Keane joined the Los Angeles franchise on a free transfer in 2011, and immediately helped his side to their first David Beckham-era championship that year. He netted three goals at the end of the campaign, and assisted Landon Donovan’s winning goal in the MLS Cup Final.

The prolific Irishman was named the most valuable player in the MLS of 2014, and lived up to that billing with a dramatic winner in the 2014 MLS Cup Final.

Thierry Henry
Recently retired Gunners legend Henry was signed by the New York Red Bulls to score goals, and the Frenchman did exactly that. After arriving in 2010, he went on to net 51 times in 122 outings.

Arsenal’s all-time leading marksman, and World Cup winner with France, Henry became the MLS’ most feared attacking weapon, serving up 14 assists, alongside 10 goals in the final year of his career before hanging up his boots.

Tim Cahill
Former Everton midfielder and fan favourite Cahill has enjoyed an excellent time at the New York Red Bulls, making 62 appearances and netting 14 times.

Australia’s record scorer Cahill, who netted one of the goals of the tournament for the Socceroos at last summer’s World Cup, joined Henry in NY after eight years on Merseyside. The Aussie was the Red Bulls’ Golden Boot winner in 2013, leading with 11 goals on his way to being voted the best MLS midfielder.

Jermain Defoe
Former Spurs and Portsmouth striker Defoe was deadly during his Premier League career, but since a move to Toronto, his eye for goal has faded.

Defoe’s decline is visible in his MLS goals tally, scoring only 12 times so far, and finding it difficult to settle in the division. The 31-year-old has finished his first season at the Canadian club, and will hope to find a more familiar form in front of goal, despite being linked with a move back to England.

Freddie Ljungberg
Ex-Arsenal and Sweden star Ljungberg was the first big name signed by Seattle Sounders in 2009, after closing his career in England with West Ham United. His Premier League honours provided a lift of credibility to the MLS and to Sounders, two years after Beckham landed in LA.

Unfortunately, the high-points of Ljungberg’s time stateside were an All-Star appearance after half a season in Seattle, four goals and 11 assists in 60 appearances, and his contribution to the Sounders’ play-off attempts in 2009. The former Sweden international left quickly for new challenges in Scotland and Japan, with most MLS fans hardly having noticed he was gone.



Lee Gormley

Lee joined the Coral team in 2014 after studying at Leeds Trinity University, having moved across the water from Ireland, and has plenty of industry experience from his time with various news outlets in both England and Northern Ireland. After graduating with a BA Honours degree in Sports Journalism, he has since become an important member of the talented sports desk, passionately covering boxing, football and snooker, among many other sports. Lee is also a massive Manchester United and Republic of Ireland fan, but curbs any bias during his work, and outside of his job can be found regularly taking part in sport himself, such as boxing, GAA and football.