LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane claims Premier League stars are “desperate” to make the move to MLS.
MLS has become home to some of the world’s biggest starts since Keane followed David Beckham to Los Angeles in 2011, with Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Andrea Pirlo, David Villa and Kaka among a host of high-profile players swapping Europe for the United States.
Former Premier League winners Ashley Cole and Nigel de Jong have also arrived in MLS, linking up with Keane at the Galaxy, while former Juventus attacker Sebastian Giovinco was last season’s MLS MVP with Toronto FC.
Keane revealed players are now queuing up to get a taste of the USA’s growing competition.
“There has been a massive difference between 2011 and now,” the 35-year-old Republic of Ireland international told Sky Sports.
“David Beckham was really the one who started it off and I followed him and since then, the influx of stars who have come over here has been absolutely huge.
“People like Kaka, Lampard, Stevie [Gerrard], [Giovani] Dos Santos, David Villa, Pirlo – they’re massive, massive names in Europe.
“It’s only going to get bigger and bigger, there’s no doubt about that. The league is only going to get stronger.
“Players I’ve played with are calling me up now from England and Spain and are really, really desperate to come over here because they can see how much the league has grown and because of the lifestyle as well.”
The Galaxy open their 2016 MLS season at home to DC United on Sunday, following Tuesday’s CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final return leg against Santos Laguna.