Major League Soccer (MLS) has seen an influx of interest from young British footballers in recent years. These players are looking to start their career – rather than end it – on the other side of the pond, but what is the reason for this shift in trends?
Setting the scene
Ever since David Beckham chose to end his footballing career with a stint for LA Galaxy, more and more footballers in their twilight years have been attracted to the bright lights of the US. This includes Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole. The reasons are obvious: it is easier to be star player, there is money in the MLS, and there is often better weather. This trend has somehow taken the notice of younger British players, who are increasingly choosing to begin rather than end their footballing careers in the US.
Three young footballers, all by the name of Jack, have signed deals across the Atlantic in recent years. Jack Harrison went there straight to New York from the Manchester United Academy and has no regrets. Jack Blake made the decision after being refused first team status at Nottingham Forest, while Jack Barmby chose to go there from Leicester simply to try out something different. According to Blake, the lower US leagues are less physical than the lower English leagues and players who are strong on skill and tactics will therefore do better.