Forward Robbie Keane now plies his trade with Major League Soccer's LA Galaxy squad.
He scored 126 English Premier League goals in 349 appearances in a career that started in 1995 with Wolverhampton Wanderers. Keane went on to play with Coventry City, Inter Milan, Leeds United, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Celtic, West Ham and Aston Villa before settling down in Los Angeles.
After last Monday's 3-0 victory over the Seattle Sounders FC, Keane was asked about comparing MLS to the English Premier League after a spate of poor results for MLS sides in friendlies including a 0-7 rout of his own side by Manchester United.
The Irish national didn't hold back in voicing his opinion on the perception of the U.S. domestic league and what it will take to continue to improve.
He refuted that MLS was a 'crap league' by asking if foreign players would be as keen to come if it were.
"Why is it that all these players from Europe are wanting to come over here and play here?" he asked rhetorically. "(Is it) Because the league is crap?" he answered rolling his eyes before continuing.
"Let's be honest. It's because the league is competitive."
Keane acknowledged the EPL is a superior and on a different level compared to MLS. That 7-0 drubbing his Galaxy team suffered at the hands of Manchester United a week ago Wednesday was an embarrassment, but the result was not a reflection of the improvement in MLS.
"After the Man United game, we didn't win anything tonight," Keane said of the result. "We didn't lose anything tonight, just a Man United game."
Without mentioning names, he went on to note the key would be to continue to recruit top players to MLS. David Villa and Frank Lampard recently signed with the expansion New York City FC.
"Why are all from Europe wanting to come over and play here? Because the league is crap is it? Let's be honest, the league is competitive. Now, it's tough. Now, it's a hard league."
"The Premiership is a different breed," Keane went on. "Are we trying to close that gap? Of course we are.
Will it take time? Yeah, of course it will take time. As long as we keep progressing...This league is only going to get better and better."