Gareth Bale goes stateside: 5 other Brits who moved to MLS
Brits in MLS: 5 players that headed stateside
Los Angeles FC have confirmed the signing of Gareth Bale on a 12-month contract to become the latest Brit to join Major League Soccer.
Wales captain Bale, whose contract at Real Madrid expires in the next few days, announced his move to the MLS side on Saturday.
"The first game he would be potentially available for, with the opening of our window, would be the game we have here on July 8th."
— LAFC (@LAFC) June 26, 2022
The 32-year-old forward has been pencilled in for a potential debut against city rivals LA Galaxy on July 8.
Here, we look at other top Brits to take the plunge in North America.
David Beckham, LA Galaxy
England superstar Beckham ended four years at Real Madrid with a move to LA Galaxy, and went on to spend five years in the States.
The 11-cap midfielder started to wind down his remarkable career in Los Angeles, but would then later enjoy short stints at both AC Milan and Paris St Germain to cap his trophy-laden time in boots.
Wayne Rooney, DC United
Ever-bullish England striker Rooney headed out to DC United in 2018, after a one-year return to first club Everton that followed a stellar stint at Manchester United. The one-time Toffees wonder kid passed 300 career goals in the US, hitting the net 23 times and laying on 15 assists in 48 regular-season contests. Rooney would head back to England to join Derby in 2020, a switch would ultimately lead to him managing the Rams.
Steven Gerrard, LA Galaxy
Anfield stalwart Gerrard put an end to 17 years of first-team action at Liverpool when heading to California. Gerrard would only spend one year at Galaxy, before hanging up his boots in 2016. The 114-cap England star then took just one year out of the sport before taking up an academy coaching role at Liverpool, that would precede managerial roles at Rangers and Aston Villa.
Frank Lampard, New York City FC
England star Lampard had already spent a year away from Chelsea at Manchester City by the time he headed to the US. Lampard became Chelsea’s record goalscorer before enjoying an Indian summer campaign in the north west at City. But the free-scoring midfielder would add one more adventure before retirement.
Congratulations Frank Lampard on a fantastic career 👏 https://t.co/GT2JmS9vh8
— New York City Football Club (@NYCFC) February 2, 2017
New York could not reach the play-offs in Lampard’s first season, before the ex-West Ham youngster then registered the club’s first hat-trick in his second campaign. New York did reach the play-offs in Lampard’s second campaign, but slipped to defeat in the semi-finals. Managerial stints at Derby, Chelsea and Everton have since followed.
Jermain Defoe, Toronto FC
England hitman Defoe sprung a surprise by trading Tottenham for Toronto aged just 31 in 2014. Defoe struck 11 goals in 19 games but the move quickly turned sour, and he was loaned back to Spurs, before making the switch to Sunderland. Productive stints at Bournemouth and Rangers followed, before Defoe finally ended a fine career back at Sunderland.