Former England under-21 captain Nigel Reo-Coker has joined Major League Soccer outfit Vancouver Whitecaps.

The 28-year-old midfielder had been without a club since leaving Ipswich Town in January, and will join up with a host of other ex-Premier league players plying their trade in the MLS.

The Whitecaps, who also have Kenny Miller and Andy O'Brien in their ranks, are coached by Carl Robinson who was capped 52 times for Wales during his playing career, which included spells with Wolverhampton Wanderers and Sunderland, before finishing his own career in the MLS with Toronto and New York Red Bulls.     

In an interview with Sky Sports News, the former West Ham United, Bolton and Aston Villa captain spoke of his reasons for moving to Canada.

"I am delighted, it will be a new experience and I can't wait," Reo-Coker told Sky Sports ahead of flying to Vancouver.

"I am looking forward to the challenge. The contract is for four years, it is something new, exciting and a change of environment and something I am looking forward too.

"I have done my research, I have spoken to Shaka Hislop and Robbie Earle, guys I have played with and who are now working and living there and it is a growing industry and thought it was something I should try.

"It was not an easy decision, I had opportunities to stay in England or even go to Russia and they pursued me, but I felt this is something I really want to try and experience.

"It is an amazing city and as I said I did my research and I spoke with people who have been in MLS and are still there, and everything just seemed to fall into place."

Reo-Coker was capped 23 times for England under-21s and in 2006, he made the standby list for Fabio Capello’s World Cup squad before having to withdraw due to a back injury.

Reo-Coker, whose wife is American, never received a full international cap despite being tipped as a future England captain during his youth.

Whether he ever returns to England remains to be seen, but he is unlikely to ever grace the Premier League again and a move to the MLS at a time that should be his peak represents a severe fall from grace for a man who was once the bright hope for a generation.


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