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English players in the MLS

Amid reports that Jermain Defoe is heading to Toronto FC, Sports Mole reviews five other English players that have spent time in the MLS.

A recent report has linked Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe with a January move to Toronto FC.

While nothing has been confirmed by any of the three parties, the 31-year-old would certainly not be the first Englishman to ply his trade in the MLS.

In fact, almost 50 players from these shores have tried their hand Stateside and here Sports Mole has highlighted how five of them in particular have fared.

Terry Cooke in action for the Colorado Rapids on May 26, 2007.© Getty Images
1. Terry Cooke, Colorado Rapids
Winger Cooke rose through the ranks at Manchester United alongside the likes of David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Gary and Phil Neville, Nicky Butt and Ryan Giggs. He made an impressive debut against Bolton Wanderers, but injuries and a lack of opportunities saw him move on to Manchester City, Grimsby Town and Sheffield Wednesday in quick succession. He finally settled in America with the Colorado Rapids, where he spent four years. Perhaps his best moment was captaining the Rapids as they thrashed Beckham's Los Angeles Galaxy in 2008.

Darren Huckerby in action for the San Jose Earthquakes on August 08, 2009.© Getty Images
2. Darren Huckerby, San Jose Earthquakes
Having spent five years with Norwich City, where he would become a hero among the club's faithful, Huckerby joined the San Jose Earthquakes in 2008 as he entered the autumn of his career. Although the team didn't win any trophies during his two seasons, he scored some important goals against the likes of the New York Red Bulls and LA Galaxy. His impact was such that he was named the division's Newcomer of the Year during his debut season.

Nigel Reo-Coker in action for the Vancouver Whitecaps on March 02, 2013.© Getty Images
3. Nigel Reo-Coker, Vancouver Whitecaps
Once regarded to be a future England international, Reo-Coker spent a decade in the English Premier League with Wimbledon, West Ham United, Aston Villa and Bolton Wanderers. Following a brief stint with Ipswich Town, the now 29-year-old decided last year to explore the MLS with the Vancouver Whitecaps, for whom Peter Beardsley had represented in two separate spells. He is still on the books of the Caps, having earned himself a reputation as a tough-tackling midfielder.

John Rooney in action for the New York Red Bulls on July 30, 2011.© Getty Images
4. John Rooney, New York Red Bulls
Following his 2010 release by Macclesfield Town and unsuccessful trials with Derby County and Huddersfield Town, Wayne Rooney's younger brother John headed for America. After training spells with Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers, he entered the 2011 Draft and was recruited by the New York Red Bulls. He only made five league appearances for the club, but did score during a US Open Cup tie against FC New York. He is now at English League Two side Bury.

David Beckham in action for LA Galaxy on July 30, 2011.© Getty Images
5. David Beckham, Los Angeles Galaxy
The former England captain caused somewhat of a shock when he announced in 2007 that he would be swapping nine-time European Cup winners Real Madrid for LA Galaxy. Despite the scepticism, it would be fair to conclude that Beckham had a bigger impact on the MLS than any other player. He raised the profile, not just in the States, but also across the world. In terms of honours, he won the MLS Western Conference three times and the MLS Cup on two occasions. Individually, he also earned the 2011 MLS Comeback Player of the Year award.


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Alex Ferguson and David Beckham stand on the side of the Old Trafford pitch after the latter signs a new contract in May 2002.
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