Football News

From the Premier League to the MLS

Created on Jan. 10, 2014 12:56 PM EST

Tottenham's Jermain Defoe agreed a move to Toronto on Friday, becoming the latest player to swap the Premier League for the MLS.

Here we take a look at some of those who have previously crossed the Atlantic.

Robbie Keane - Tottenham to LA Galaxy (2011)

The Republic of Ireland striker left White Hart Lane to join fellow former Premier League players David Beckham and Landon Donovan in a star-studded Galaxy line-up, scoring 22 league goals in his first MLS season.

Freddie Ljungberg - West Ham to Seattle Sounders (2008)

Having achieved huge success with Arsenal, the Swede had a short spell at West Ham before becoming one of the headline signings for the then-new Seattle Sounders franchise.

Juan Pablo Angel - Aston Villa to New York Red Bulls (2007)

Angel's impact in America was immediate, the Colombian scoring 20 goals in all competitions to earn himself a place in the MLS Best XI for 2007.

Tim Cahill - Everton to New York Red Bulls (2012)

The long-serving Everton midfielder left Goodison Park behind after eight years' service to ply his trade across the Atlantic. In October 2013, the Australian set a record for the quickest goal in MLS history when he netted after seven seconds against Houston Dynamo.

Clint Dempsey - Tottenham to Seattle Sounders (2013)

Dempsey, who started out at New England Revolution, found his scoring touch at Fulham before earning a transfer to Spurs, but his time there was less productive and the Texan moved on to Seattle, before announcing a return to Craven Cottage on loan last month.

Carlo Cudicini - Tottenham to LA Galaxy (2013)

The Italian was Chelsea's number one for several seasons before Petr Cech's arrival and then transferred to Tottenham, where again he found himself down the pecking order. After just 19 Premier League appearances for Spurs, the Milan academy graduate opted to leave for LA.

Brian McBride - Fulham to Chicago Fire (2008)

Prolific as a youngster at Milwaukee Rampage and Columbus Crew, the imposing striker first appeared in England as a loanee at Preston North End and then Everton, before joining Fulham. He spent four and a half years with the London club before returning to his homeland with a move to Chicago Fire.

Celestine Babayaro - Newcastle United to LA Galaxy (2008)

Perhaps the least successful MLS import from the English top flight, Babayaro fell out of favour at St James' Park and joined former Newcastle boss Ruud Gullit in LA, only to have his contract torn up without ever playing a competitive match.

Eddie Johnson - Fulham to Seattle Sounders (2012)

After building a reputation as one of the deadliest strikers in MLS, Johnson made a $6m move to Craven Cottage in January 2008. He failed to adapt, however, spending time at lower-league Cardiff City and Preston before returning to his homeland in 2012, where the goals have flowed once again - making Johnson a likely candidate for USA's FIFA World Cup squad later this year.

Youri Djorkaeff - Blackburn Rovers to New York Red Bulls (2005)

At the tail-end of his glittering career, the former France international had proven he still had the skills to compete at the top level with Bolton Wanderers and their unlikely side of fading stars. A subsequent move to Lancashire rivals Blackburn failed - Djorkaeff only featured three times for the Ewood Park club - and he brought the curtain down on his career with a two-year stay at the then-newly formed Red Bulls.

Kasey Keller - Fulham to Seattle Sounders (2009)

Another to have swapped London for Seattle, goalkeeper Keller also enjoyed spells at Millwall, Leicester City, Rayo Vallecano, Tottenham and Borussia Monchengladbach among others.

Joe-Max Moore - Everton to New England Revolution (2003)

Having made his professional debut in the German second tier with Saarbrucken, Moore moved on to New England Revolution via Nuremberg and got his Premier League break with Everton in 1999. However, injuries hampered his progress on Merseyside and he returned to the Revolution in 2003.

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