Wo-oah, I’m an alien, I’m an illegal alien, I’m an Englishman in New York. Or so sang Sting. Well, Pies has compiled a list of Englishmen, Scotsmen and Welshmen who have been sighted in various locations around the USA. Here are the Brits who made their mark on the MLS before David Beckham had arrived.
1 Daniele Dichio
Dichio had slipped off the radar of most football fans with a quiet couple of years at Preston North End during which he scored just five goals. The former QPR man sneaked off to Toronto in April and has already scored five goals in his first 12 games, becoming Toronto’s star player. There is currently a feature on him and Terry Cooke on BBC Sport.
2 Terry Cooke
As we have just mentioned him, Cooke might as well come in at number two. He was one of Manchester United’s golden generation who didn’t reach the heights of some of his youth team contemporaries. He was eventually shipped off to Manchester City. Destined to trawl around the English lower league for all eternity, Cooke made his break in 2005 and headed to Colorado Rapids. After taking some time to settle, the 30-year-old is now – according to some soccer websites – ‘the MLS’ leading assist man’.
3 John Cunliffe
A former Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers trainee, Cunliffe took a different route than most to the MLS by going through the US college system. The 22-year-old went to the University of Colorado on a football scholarship. After finishing college he was selected by LA Galaxy’s city rivals Chivas USA in the first round of the draft. He has begun to establish himself at the club, making nine appearances so far this season.
4 Paul Dalglish
Having played in his dad’s shadow at both Celtic and Liverpool, Dalglish Jnr was signed by Kenny for Newcastle in 1997. Shipped out to Norwich at the end of Dalgish dynasty’s reign at St James’s, Paul became the archetypal journeyman. He took in England, Northern Ireland, Italy and Scotland before moving to Houston Dynamo last year. He has played five games this season, but is yet to find the net.
5 Carl Robinson
The first player to board the Beckham gravy train after his move to LA Galaxy was announced. The Welsh international surprised a few people when he left Norwich to join Toronto in February. The 30-year-old midfielder has established himself as a must-pick along with Dichio.
6 Shaka Hislop
Trinidadian by international appearances, but British by birth. Hislop left West Ham in 2006 and put in some heroic performances at the World Cup before joining FC Dallas. Now aged 38, Hislop regularly gets an outing but he is behind Dario Sala in the pecking order.
7 Andy Welsh
Another of the British contingent at MLS new boys Toronto. The Manchester-born midfielder was at Sunderland before his move. Former Black Cats team-mate Carl Robinson tipped off Toronto coach Mo Johnston about Welsh, who ahd found himself frozen out under Roy Keane.
8 Steve Nicol
Now the coach of New England Revolution, the former Liverpool centre-back had a brief playing career with the Revs in 1999. The Scottish international has now established himself as one of the best coaches in the MLS.
9 Stuart Holden
Born and spent much of his youth in Scotland. He returned to the USA to study before being signed by Sunderland in 2005. He spent a year on Wearside, but still found time to have his left eye socket fractured in an attack outside a club in Newcastle. He now plays for Houston Dynamo.
10 Steve Guppy
The former Leicester winger and one-cap wonder attempted to finish his career by tutoring Freddy Adu through the art of midfielding at DC United. An achilles injury put paid to that idea though. Guppy played just five games in America. After taking some time out Guppy, now aged 38, returned to football with Stevenage Borough.