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Frank Lampard and the Imported Premier League Stars of Major League Soccer

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterJuly 24, 2014

Frank Lampard and the Imported Premier League Stars of Major League Soccer

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    Clive Rose/Getty Images

    Frank Lampard has swapped the bright lights of London for the Big Apple in a summer transfer.

    The England international has joined New York City FC after 13 years of success at Chelsea, the Major League Soccer club confirmed via Twitter. He will now take his place in the burgeoning MLS in the United States.

    The 36-year-old will be joined at the Manchester City-owned franchise by former Atletico Madrid and Barcelona forward David Villa.

    Lampard will find some familiar faces waiting for him in North America.

    Here we take a look at some former Premier League players now plying their trade in the MLS. 

Thierry Henry, New York Red Bulls

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    Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    Thierry Henry is arguably the biggest name in Major League Soccer at the moment.

    The former France international was part of the squad which won the World Cup in 1998, and he went on to make his name as a club legend at Arsenal, where he played between 1999 and 2007.

    The striker spent three years at Barcelona before joining New York Red Bulls in 2010. 

Tim Cahill, New York Red Bulls

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    Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

    Tim Cahill began his professional career in England with Millwall, where he earned legendary status for scoring the goal which sent the Lions into the FA Cup final in 2004.

    The Australia international joined Everton after the cup final defeat to Manchester United at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

    Although Cahill failed to win silverware at Goodison Park, he is regarded as a club legend after his eight-year spell on Merseyside under former manager David Moyes.

    He joined New York Red Bulls in January 2012 and played for the Socceroos in the World Cup this summer.

Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    The pinnacle of Robbie Keane's club career in England came as he helped Tottenham Hotspur lift the League Cup in 2008 with the extra-time win over Chelsea.

    That single medal disguises a wealth of experience gained by the Republic of Ireland forward in a career which saw him play for Wolves, Coventry, Inter Milan, Leeds, Spurs and Liverpool.

    At the international level, Keane has become an Ireland legend. He is the record goalscorer for his country and helped the team into the World Cup finals in 2002, where they reached the last 16.

    Keane moved to LA Galaxy in 2011 and has since won the MLS Cup twice and the Supporters' Shield. 

Obafemi Martins, Seattle Sounders

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    Seattle Sounders striker Obafemi Martins claimed the 2006 Serie A title, twice won the Coppa Italia and also claimed the Super Cup during his time with Inter Milan.

    The Nigeria international is best known in English football for scoring the goal which won the League Cup for Birmingham City against Arsenal in 2011.

    Martins finished his European career with Levante before joining Seattle in 2013. 

Jermain Defoe, Toronto FC

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Jermain Defoe began his career with West Ham United, but it was with Tottenham Hotspur that he made his name.

    The England international joined Spurs in 2004 and went on to become the club's record goalscorer in European competition in his two spells at the club.

    Defoe joined Toronto FC in February and his two goals on his debut in a 2-1 win over Seattle Sounders immediately endeared him to the fans. 

Mikael Silvestre, Portland Timbers

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    USA TODAY Sports Images

    France international Mikael Silvestre began his career with Rennes before moving to Inter Milan, but it is his time with Manchester United that made his name.

    The defender joined the Old Trafford club in 1999 and went on to win five Premier League titles, one FA Cup, one League Cup and was on the bench for the 2008 Champions League victory over Chelsea.

    Silvestre subsequently transferred to Arsenal for two seasons, before finishing his European career with Werder Bremen.

    The Frenchman joined the Portland Timbers last year. 

Djimi Traore, Seattle Sounders

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Mali international Djimi Traore became part of Liverpool legend as he played the whole 120 minutes of the 2005 Champions League final against AC Milan in Istanbul.

    The defender spent seven years at Anfield before moving on to Charlton Athletic in 2006. He joined Portsmouth a year later.

    Traore spent two seasons at Fratton Park and was with Monaco and Marseille before moving across the Atlantic to Seattle in 2013. 

Nigel Reo-Coker, Vancouver Whitecaps FC

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Nigel Reo-Coker's name is written in Wembley folklore as the first Englishman to captain a team in a match at the new stadium.

    The former Bolton and Aston Villa midfielder made history in 2007 when he led the England under-21 team in a match against the Italy.

    Reo-Coker began his career at Wimbledon before joining West Ham in 2004. He went on to play for the Hammers in the FA Cup final defeat to Liverpool in 2006 before moving to Villa Park.

    He had been on a stand-by list for England's 2006 World Cup squad, but a back injury robbed him of the chance to feature in Germany, as BBC Sport reported.

    Reo-Coker then played for Bolton and Ipswich Town before joining Vancouver in 2013. 

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