10 Brits who did MLS before Beckham


18th, July 2007


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.
Dichio.JPG1 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.

Terry%20Cooke.JPG2 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’.
John%20Cunliffe.JPG3 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.
Paul%20Dalglish.JPG4 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.
Carl%20Robinson.JPG5 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.
Shaka%20Hislop.JPG6 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.
Andy%20Welsh.JPG7 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.
Steve%20Nicol.JPG8 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.
Stuart%20Holden.JPG9 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.
Steve%20Guppy.JPG10 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.

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  1. Eric says:

    Ever heard of Ronnie O Brien, Irish guy who made it huge in the Sates, he started out with Boro, before being toutedd as a real star and being snapped up by Juventus! his first year at Juve he won player of the year! It was an online Fanpoll and all us Irish people voted him as no.1! He left Juventus and currently plays for Toronto, but has played for a few teams in the USA so far!

  2. DCUinCT says:

    Do we need any other info than this list that most British players are vastly overrated? For the amount they’re payed relative to the average MLS salary all have been big disapointments.
    There are a quite a few others that could be added to this list to. Didn’t New England have a central defender last year or the year before brought in to save the defense and proved to be uter crap?
    Maybe an Italian or Spanish player would result in less bang for the buck than a Brit, but it’s hard to imagine. Hope it’s not true with Becks.

  3. Rob P says:

    Eric – yes heard of him but he’s not British of course!
    CDUinCT – that’s one possible conclusion. The other is that MLS is a poor league! We’ll just have to see how Becks gets on…

  4. Allen says:

    Cunliffe went to Ft. Lewis College in Durango, CO. He did not go to the University of Colorado.
    Ronnie O’Brien has only played for FC Dallas and Toronto FC.
    Bobby Houghton coached the Colorado Rapids in their first year and was fired.
    Dalglish has been injured this year. He’s played in 5 games, starting 3 of them. He hasn’t scored any goals this year.

  5. Rob P says:

    Allen – Cunliffe seems to think he went to the University of Colorado. At least that’s what he told FourFourTwo magazine in July…

  6. Mike says:

    Maybe Cunliffe said “a university in Colorado” and FourFourTwo got mixed up but he definitely went to Fort Lewis

  7. scotty says:

    hi…i think its widely accepted that the MLS is very poor in standard. most of these guys are here because they couldnt cut it in the uk, europe or any of the other top leagues. this is not a criticism, its a fact. one of the reasons a lot of euro teams dont do well in friendies here, has alot to do with the climate and also, some relatively dodgy pitches. for anyone to think that the likes of man utd chelsea, rangers and celtic would give any mls team a sniff in a real competitive game would be crazy. these teams usually use these matches purely as preseason warmup matches, whereas the MLS teams are playing out of their skins. its a positive learning curve though, but they have to resist going out and trying to attract has been players. beckham is overrated, but he is a saleable asset…therefore a good bit of business…not all players can say that….cheers…oh yeah…p.s. the reason the MLS is so boring is that they pass the ball to death and the commentators have as much charisma as a stiff in a morgue…u need some brazilian commentators…..gooooooooooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllllllllllll.