Two England soccer internationals will be playing in MLS for the rest of this season and following in the footsteps of another member of the golden generation. Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard were in of a group of England players that could have beaten the world alongside David Beckham. However, the squad could not emulate the World Cup winning team of 1966 or the side that reached the semi-finals of Euro 96 played in England.
100 Caps for England
All three players have represented their country in full internationals more than 100 times. Only one other player won more than a century of caps and plated in the States and he is even more iconic and famous. The clue to his name is that he received a trophy from the Queen during the 1960’s. England have only won one World Cup and this player was an intrinsic member of the successful squad. Sadly he passed away some year ago at a relatively early age due to cancer which proved that the illness is democratic if it can take away a sporting hero.
England reached the semi-finals at the 1990 World Cup in Italy. They were playing at home in the Euros six years later but the result was the same. England lost on penalties to Germany on both occasions after missing several scoring opportunities. The central character in both matches was Gazza, the nickname for Paul Gascoigne, the best English player for about 20 years. Since then England have been a huge disappointment at major championships, several during the so called golden era.
Lampard and Gerrard are moving to the States to play soccer at the end of stellar careers characterised by loyalty to one club for which they broken appearance and scoring records. Ahead of a brief spell at PSG in France David Beckham played for LA Galaxy after a move that suited his wife Victoria, the fashion designer formerly known as Posh Spice from the British girl band the Spice Girls.
Beckham played 98 times for LA Galaxy, scoring 18 goals in a career at the club from 2007 to 2012 that was interspersed by two spells on loan at Inter Milan. He played for six clubs in total in a career spanning 21 years, scoring 129 goals in 719 matches. Despite being born in London he was a fanatical Manchester United fan as a youngster and played for that club in 265 matches scoring 62 goals. Beckham also scored 17 goals in 115 England internationals.
Beckham retired as a player after a six month spell at Paris Saint-Germain which meant Mrs Beckham could go shopping in another world famous city. She is now a success in her own right in the fashion industry and despite the A-list celebratory lifestyle the couple have four grounded children who are not allowed to take money and privilege for granted. Their Dad’s latest project is to set up a Major League Soccer team in Miami, pending a new stadium.
Lampard played in the English Premier League for Manchester City last season. In July 2014 Lampard supposedly signed a two year deal to play for New York City FC. The move to the States followed a 12 year spell at Chelsea where he is the record scorer, finding the net 211 times in 648 matches. He moved to City in a one season deal that was possible because City are the parent club of New York. At the start of this year Lampard finally signed to play for New York City in the MLS.
Gerrard has only ever played for Liverpool and England. He supports the club and has been involved in many memorable matches since making his debut in 1998. He led his team to the Miracle of Istanbul. Liverpool were losing 3-0 to AC Milan in the final of the 2005 Champions League in the Turkish city. Gerrard scored a goal and inspired his team to win the match after extra time and penalties. However, in his time at the club Liverpool never won the Premier League despite some near misses most notably last season when a crucial slip by Gerrard cost the team dear.
A perfect end to Gerrard’s career at Liverpool would have been playing in the English FA Cup Final on May 30th, his 35th birthday. The dream did not become a reality as Liverpool lost in the semi-finals to Aston Villa who lost to Arsenal in the final. Gerrard scored 186 goals in 708 matches for Liverpool. He has also scored 21 times for England in 114 appearances. He captained his country at the 2014 World Cup but never won a major international trophy.
Gerrard will emulate a fellow former England captain in Beckham by playing for LA Galaxy in MLS. He has signed an 18 month designated player contract, having retired from international football after the World Cup. The reasoning behind that decision was to focus on his club career. However, Liverpool did not offer him a decent deal for next season so Gerrard becomes the fourth man to play 100 times for England and professionally in the United States. The other name on that list is Bobby Moore, the England captain at Wembley when they won the World Cup in 1966.
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