Saturday 20 January 2018

Players who have swapped the Premier League for Major League Soccer

Bastian Schweinsteiger joined Manchester United in 2015
Bastian Schweinsteiger joined Manchester United in 2015

Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger became the latest big name to swap the Premier League for Major League Soccer after he joined the Chicago Fire.

Schweinsteiger arrived at Old Trafford in 2015 to great acclaim but the 32-year-old has not started a single league match under Jose Mourinho this season.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at five other stars to trade English football for the United States.

Frank Lampard (New York City FC)

After 13 glittering years at Chelsea, Lampard's contract was not renewed in 2014 and the then-36-year-old announced his decision to join New York City FC. Lampard subsequently spent the following season on loan at Manchester City and finally moved to America in January 2016. He made 31 appearances for New York and scored 15 goals before retiring in February this year.

Steven Gerrard (The LA Galaxy)

Many thought Gerrard would remain a one-club player but, after deciding to leave Liverpool at the end of the 2014-15 season, he agreed an 18-month deal with the LA Galaxy. He was the second England captain to join the Galaxy after David Beckham's switch from Real Madrid in 2007. Gerrard hit five goals in 34 appearances for the American club before deciding to retire in November.

Jermain Defoe (Toronto FC)

Defoe was only 31 when he left Tottenham for Toronto in February 2014 and his time there turned sour when the club's fans, and president, started questioning the striker's commitment. After being linked with several clubs back in England, Defoe joined Sunderland the following January and has proven a brilliant signing for the Black Cats. Defoe has 14 goals this season and was recalled to the England squad last week.

Robbie Keane (The LA Galaxy)

Keane's star had dwindled by the time he departed Spurs for Los Angeles in 2011, having spent short loan spells at both Celtic and West Ham. Keane has enjoyed great success in America, however, winning three MLS Cups, and he scored eight goals in 17 appearances last season. The striker came back to England for a month-long loan at Aston Villa in 2012 but was not enticed for a longer return to the Premier League.

Freddie Ljungberg (The Seattle Sounders)

Ljungberg made his name during nine excellent years at Arsenal but it was from West Ham that the then-31-year-old moved to the Seattle Sounders in 2008. The Swede was voted into the MLS All-Stars team in 2009 and then joined the Chicago Fire a year later, making 15 appearances for his new side. Ljungberg went on to play for Celtic and Shimizu S-Pulse in Japan before announcing his retirement in 2012.

Press Association

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