MLS is becoming one of the most respected soccer leagues in the world thanks to an influx of foreign talent. It’s no secret that many Americans prefer other sports, but soccer is getting bigger. Some of the best foreign soccer players in the history of the sport have ended up in the MLS, and these are our top stars.
David Beckham came to the LA Galaxy when he was still in his prime and helped raise the profile of soccer in the US. Most players choose Europe as the place to play soccer at the most competitive level, but Beckham knew there were good players in the US. He chose to spend five years with the Galaxy and was the pioneer for modern soccer stars making their way to American soil.
For many, there hasn’t been a more beautiful player to watch than Andrea Pirlo. The Italian midfielder has won the World Cup, Champions League, and Serie A and decided to end his playing adventure in New York. He played for New York City 60 times over two seasons, reminding everyone that he still had it, even if he was well into his 30s at that point.
Wayne Rooney was still playing in the Premier League when he decided to give up playing for Everton to trade to the USA. He made the switch to the MLS with DC United and became one of the standout players in the league, helping his new team to the playoffs. Rooney scored over 200 goals in the Premier League and including his international goals he has over 300 in his career.
Brazilian midfielder Kaka is the only player ever to grace the MLS to have won the Ballon d’Or, otherwise known as the best player in the world. He came to the MLS after leaving Real Madrid and AC Milan to play for Orlando City in 2014 for three seasons. Kaka is arguably the best ever foreign player in the MLS because he is the only one who was recognized at one time as the best in the world.
It says a lot for the MLS’ popularity that it can attract former World Cup winners, and European legends. If it continues growing, foreign players could begin to shun playing in Europe in favor of living the American dream.
Behind every iconic character, whether in the world of TV or movies, there seems to be an extremely talented actor/actress who makes the role their own. However, the following roles were famously, and sometimes, infamously, recast, for a variety of reasons.
Marty McFly – Back to the Future
It’s almost impossible to imagine the protagonist of the Back to the Future films, Marty McFly, without Michael J. Fox. However, the stardom could easily have gone to the American actor Eric Stoltz instead. Stoltz was initially cast as Marty, but halfway through filming, the studio decided to switch him with Fox.
Kaitlin Cooper – The O.C.
The American teen-drama series, The O.C. ran on Fox from 2003 to 2007 for four seasons and was quite a big hit with its target audience. Before her exposure to stardom, Shailene Woodley appeared on the show at the age of 11, playing the role of Kaitlin Cooper. Kaitlin Cooper was written off the show temporarily, but when she came back around the last seasons, she was aged forward to be a mature teen, who was played by Willa Holland.
Frank Costanza – Seinfeld
One of the most influential TV programs of all time, Seinfeld managed to change the history of TV comedy forever during its nine-season run from 1989 to 1998. One recurring character in the show was Frank Costanza, the father of George. The late Jerry Stiller is the one most fans remember as the actor playing Frank, but he wasn’t the only one. John Randolph originally played the role of Frank in one episode of Seinfeld in 1993. However, Randolph’s scenes were reshot with Stiller when the episode finally aired.
Sarah Braverman – Parenthood
Remember Sarah Braverman from Parenthood? The quirky and relaxed mom of two was perfectly captured by the talented Lauren Graham. However, the Gilmore Girls star was not supposed to be Sarah Braverman, to begin with! Originally, the role was to be played by Maura Tierney who filmed the pilot for the show but left due to personal reasons. Lauren Graham ended up replacing her, and did a great job at that too!
Reggie Mantle – Riverdale
If you’re into Archie comics, there’s a chance you know this piece of trivia about Riverdale as well. Originally, Reggie, Archie’s best friend, and rival was a recurring character during the first two seasons, but eventually got promoted to the main character. During the first season of the show, Reggie was played by Ross Butler, who decided to leave because of scheduling conflicts with 13 Reasons Why. The character was played by Charles Melton during the second season onwards.
Pam’s Mom – The Office
Helene Beesly, Pam’s mother, became one of the recurring characters of the American adaptation of The Office, especially during the later seasons. From seasons six to nine, she was played by Linda Purl – first appearing just in time for Pam’s wedding with Jim. However, Pam’s mom also appeared once during an episode of the second season of the show. In that episode, Shannon Cochran was seen to be playing the role of Pam’s mom.
Danny Tanner – Full House
One of the most popular dads in America – Bob Saget’s portrayal of Danny Tanner, an uncool, control-freak father was loved by every family household in the ‘80s and the ‘90s. However, Bob Saget was not the first Danny Tanner on Full House. Whilst he played Danny throughout the show, the pilot episode originally featured the actor John Posey as Danny. However, the studio later decided that Saget was a better fit and Posey moved on to other popular shows like ER.
Mandy Baxter – Last Man Standing
Last Man Standing is a show that had undergone multiple recasts throughout the eight seasons it had been airing. The middle daughter of the Baxter family, Mandy, was played by Molly Ephraim from 2011 until 2017 when the show was canceled by ABC. Last Man Standing was picked up again by Fox in 2018, but Ephraim decided to leave the show anyway, and Molly McCook replaced her for the role.
Cher – Clueless
Clueless started its journey as a 1995 coming-of-age teen romantic comedy movie, and it has a fan following to this day. A TV show of the same name soon followed and ran for three seasons from 1996 to 1999. Alicia Silverstone played the role of Cher in the Clueless movie, but she chose not to return for the TV series. The role was recast, and Rachel Blanchard replaced her as Cher on television.
Laurie Forman – That ’70s Show
Ironically named, That ‘70s Show, was a hilariously popular sitcom that aired from 1998 to 2006, giving ‘90s kids a dose of nostalgia for teenage life during the ‘70s. A recurring character in that show was Laurie Forman, Eric Forman’s sister. Lisa Robin Kelly originally played Laurie from 1998 to 2003 but left due to personal reasons. Christina Moore filled in her shoes and appeared as Laurie for six episodes till the series ended in 2006.
Sookie St. James – Gilmore Girls
A principal character on the Warner Bros drama series Gilmore Girls – it’s hard to find a viewer who doesn’t remember Sookie St. James for her bubbly personality. The talented actress Melissa McCarthy played Sookie throughout the series, but she wasn’t actually the studio’s first pick. Originally, Alex Borstein played Sookie on the unaired pilot of the show but was replaced by McCarthy due to scheduling conflicts. Bornstein, however, appeared in cameo roles – so she got to work in Gilmore Girls anyway!
Aunt Viv – The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
“In West Philadelphia, born and raised….” – these lyrics would take anyone with a TV during the ‘90s to the Bel-Air mansion, where Will Smith’s character was sent to live in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Janet Hubert played the character of Aunt Vivian “Viv” Banks on the show for the first three seasons, after which she was replaced by Daphne Reid. Hubert is coming back, though – she is expected to star as Aunt Viv in the reunion special, which will air sometime around Thanksgiving of 2020.
The animated film series Shrek is one of the most successful franchises of DreamWorks Animation, comprising four feature-length movies and two holiday shorts. The titular character of the film, Shrek, a green ogre, was originally supposed to be voiced by Chris Farley, but he passed away before the project was completed. The talented comedian and actor Mike Myers replaced him instead, and the first film was eventually released in 2001.
Ann Veal – Arrested Development
Ann Veal – George Michael’s bland girlfriend on Arrested Development was the butt of many jokes throughout the show for failing to make an impression on anybody. Initially, the makers of the show planned to replace the actress who played Ann forever – to show how forgettable she is. Played by Alessandra Toressani for one episode, she was then replaced by Mae Whitman and the makers decided to stick with her. Apparently, the makers had told her she was “making the whole not-memorable thing work.” Ouch!
Clarice Starling – Hannibal
Who could ever forget one of Hollywood’s favorite villains, Hannibal Lecter? Sir Anthony Hopkins’ portrayal of Hannibal often overshadowed the FBI agent who complimented him, Clarice Starling. Clarice was played by Jodie Foster in The Silence of the Lambs, for which she won an Oscar, but she declined to return on the sequel film, Hannibal, which was released in 2001. The role was given to Julianne Moore instead, an equally talented actress in her own right.
Meg Griffin – Family Guy
The American animated TV series Family Guy is one that is known for buzzing with A-list actors. One of the most prominent characters in the show is Meg Griffin, whom everyone knows to be voiced by the mesmerizing actress Mila Kunis. What people don’t know is that Kunis had only been voicing Meg since the second season. In the first season of Family Guy, Meg was mostly voiced by Lacey Chabert, although Cree Summer played that part as well for a short time in the beginning.
Jenna Maroney – 30 Rock
NBC’s hilarious 30 Rock is a show that centers on the production of a sketch comedy series and is loved by viewers for its quirky characters. One of the most popular characters in the show is the self-obsessed Jenna Maroney, who is portrayed by Jane Krakowski, for which she received four Emmy nominations. However, Jane wasn’t the first Jenna Maroney. Rachel Dratch was originally supposed to play that role in the show’s unaired pilot but ended up playing recurring characters and cameos instead.
Russell Hammond – Almost Famous
Kids and teenagers during the ‘90s have a special place in their hearts for Almost Famous, where a high school student gets the amazing opportunity to travel with a rock band on their concert tour. Centered on comedy and music, this was the perfect movie for teenagers. The original Russell Hammond, the lead band member in the movie, was supposed to be Brad Pitt, but he dropped out. Billy Crudup took over the role and received critical acclaim for it.
Kristin Baxter – Last Man Standing
Mandy wasn’t the only character who was recast during the airing of Last Man Standing. Another famous recast of the show was that of Kristin Beth Baxter, the eldest daughter of the family. Alexandra Krosney played Kristin in the first season of the show. The production team dropped her at the end of season one, and the role was handed over to Amanda Fuller, who has been playing the role of Kristin ever since.
Daenerys Targaryen – Game of Thrones
Catelyn Stark wasn’t the only character who was recast in Game of Thrones. Between the unaired pilot and the actual TV screen, the showrunners tinkered with the casting quite a bit. Originally, Tamzin Merchant was supposed to play the role of “Khaleesi” Daenerys Targaryen, one of the chief characters in the entire show. However, the showrunners decided that she wasn’t the right person for the role, and the torch was passed on to the beautiful Emilia Clarke.
Gordon – Sesame Street
The popular children’s show Sesame Street has been running for 50 seasons from its beginnings in 1969, and most of its human characters have stuck with the show the entire time. One exception to this norm was Gordon, the science teacher. Roscoe Orman has been persistently playing the role of Gordon since 1976, but he wasn’t the first. Before Orman, there were three other Gordons in the show – Garett Saunders, Matt Robinson, and Hal Miller.
Lily Tucker-Pritchett – Modern Family
As the “baby” of the show, most Modern Family fans have a soft spot for Lily, Mitchell, and Cam’s adopted daughter. In seasons one and two, Lily was played by the twin children Jaden and Ella Hiller. However, the twin children did not enjoy the experience and did not continue the show anymore. From season three onwards, Lily was played by a single child actress, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, and the character was aged forward to be a preschooler.
Daario Naharis – Game of Thrones
Not all actors and actresses of Game of Thrones were recast before the pilot – some of them were replaced in-between seasons. One of the most obvious changes was that of Daario Naharis, the commander of a mercenary company. Originally played by Ed Skrein, he was replaced by Michiel Huisman from the fourth season of the show. Whilst he was not a central character, the change was very obvious to viewers – causing much controversy and debate amongst fans.
Starbuck – Battlestar Galactica
The popular sci-fi franchise Battlestar Galactica began as a single-season TV series in 1978, before it received a reboot during the years 2003 to 2009. In the 1978 series, there was a male fighter pilot called Starbuck, who was played by the handsome actor Dirk Benedict. However, in the reboot, Starbuck was recast as a woman. Katee Sackhoff played the character of Kara Thrace, a pilot with the call sign “Starbuck.” Although the showrunners took liberty with their casting choice, the essence of the character remained the same.
Jennifer Parker – Back to the Future
Back to the Future was, quite literally, a timeless classic for the movie-going high school kids of the ‘80s, with its nerve-wracking plot and incredible special effects way ahead of its time. One of the primary characters of the movie was Jennifer Parker, the girlfriend of Marty McFly, the protagonist. Claudia Wells played the role in the first movie, which was released in 1985, but in the sequel, the charming Elisabeth Shue took over as Wells wasn’t available.
Catelyn Stark – Game of Thrones
All the Game of Thrones fans are bound to remember Lady Catelyn Stark, the bold, stern mother of the Stark children and once the Lady of Winterfell. As one of the most significant characters of the show, Michelle Fairley executed the role perfectly. However, Fairley wasn’t supposed to be Lady Catelyn, to begin with! Originally, Lady Catelyn was supposed to be portrayed by Jennifer Ehle during the unaired pilot but decided to drop out.
Becky Conner – Roseanne
ABC’s hit sitcom Roseanne ran for 10 seasons from 1988 to 2018 and told the story of the Conners, an American working-class family. One of the characters in the sitcom was Becky Conner, the intelligent, quick-tempered daughter. She was played by Lecy Goranson in seasons one to five, and the charismatic Sarah Chalke took over for the seasons six to nine. However, Lecy returned as Becky occasionally during season eight as her schedule permitted, with Chalke picking up the slack during her absence.
The Doctor – Doctor Who
One of the most iconic and longest-running TV shows in history, Doctor Who ran for 26 continuous seasons from 1963 to 1989 and was again picked up in 2005. Many actors have played The Doctor and left throughout the years, which has been incorporated into the storyline using a phenomenon called “Regeneration,” which causes The Doctor to change appearance involuntarily. Currently, Jodie Whittaker plays the role of The Doctor, the first woman ever to do so.
James Bond is another iconic character who has been played by a long line of actors throughout the years. However, each of the movies is independent, and so studios often recast the main character without breaking continuity. The first James Bond was played by Sean Connery in Dr. No, which was released in 1962. Over the years, six other actors have played the role of the secret agent, with the latest addition being Daniel Craig, who will be playing the role for the last time in 2020.
Queen Elizabeth II – The Crown
If you’re into British royalty and intricate political dramas, Netflix’s The Crown is a must-watch for you. The show follows Queen Elizabeth II, who was portrayed by the talented actress Claire Foy in the earlier seasons and received critical acclaim for it. However, the Queen was shown to progress into middle age in season three, and thus, she was replaced by the Oscar-winning actress Olivia Colman. It is presumed that Coleman would be recast in the future as well when the Queen would be shown to progress into old age.
Jack Ryan, the most famous character created by author Tom Clancy, has been one to appear in numerous movies, TV shows, and video games. Originally, Alec Baldwin played Jack Ryan in The Hunt for Red October in 1990. In 1992’s Patriot Games, the actor was played by Harrison Ford, an actor already known for other iconic roles such as Han Solo and Indiana Jones. Ben Affleck, Chris Pine, and John Krasinski have also played Jack Ryan as well in other movies and TV shows.
Samantha – Her
One of the most critically acclaimed films of modern times, Her, told the story of a man who fell in love with his artificially intelligent virtual assistant, Samantha. Originally, Samantha was supposed to be voiced by the actress Samantha Morton and recorded all the dialogue of the character. However, the director Spike Jonze decided to recast her at the last minute as he felt she wasn’t the right voice for the job. He replaced Morton with Scarlett Johansson, who redid all the dialogues for the role instead.
Albus Dumbledore – The Harry Potter Film Franchise
If you look carefully, you would notice that the actor who played Dumbledore in the first two films is a different one than the ones that followed. The original actor of the films was Richard Harris, who sadly passed away shortly before Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was released. Michael Gambon took over the role for the next six films. A third actor, Jude Law, played the role of young Dumbledore in the Fantastic Beasts movies, a spinoff of the original Harry Potter films.
Carol – Friends
This is probably one of the most famous recasts in the history of television – one that all Friends fans are familiar with. Carol Willick, Ross’s ex-wife, was introduced in the second episode of the first season and was played by Anita Barone. Carol became a recurring character in the subsequent episodes over the ten seasons, but that was the only time Barone was seen in that role. In the following episodes, Carol was played by the charming Jane Sibbett, who nailed that role perfectly.
Rachel Dawes – The Dark Knight Trilogy
There have been numerous Batman movies throughout the years, and viewers have seen many talented actors from Adam West to Robert Pattinson starring as Batman. One of those movies was Batman Begins, the first film of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, where Katie Holmes played Rachel, Batman’s love interest. Holmes did not return in the second film, The Dark Knight, though, and Maggie Gyllenhaal stepped in to fill her shoes.
Bruce Banner/The Hulk – Marvel Cinematic Universe
Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe became the powerhouse it is today, they started off small with the 2008 movies The Incredible Hulk, their second movie after Iron Man. Edward Norton played the role of Dr. Bruce Banner in that film, also known as The Hulk. However, in the subsequent Marvel movies, Mark Ruffalo replaced Norton as The Hulk and became the icon for the Marvel Cinematic Universe that he is today.
Evelyn Carnahan – The Mummy Film Franchise
Whilst most critics had mixed feelings about The Mummy films, they were a big hit with fans and a success commercially. Rachel Weisz basked in glory playing Evelyn Carnahan, the wife of the protagonist Rick O’Connell, in the first two films, but decided to step out of the third one – The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Maria Bello stepped in to fill her shoes and replaced her as Evelyn Carnahan.
Marilyn Munster – The Munsters
The Munsters was a peculiar sitcom that aired on CBS from 1964 to 1966, revolving around the home life of a family of monsters. The only non-monster family member in the show was Marilyn Munster, who was originally played by Beverly Owen. Beverly played the role of Marilyn throughout 1964 but was replaced by Pat Priest when Beverly decided to quit. The TV series was a big hit and received several subsequent shows and movies based on it, which featured other actresses playing the role of Marilyn.
War Machine/James Rhodes – Marvel Cinematic Universe
The Marvel Cinematic Universe underwent quite a few recasts during its early days. The 2008 film, Iron Man, was the first movie of the cinematic universe and featured Terrence Howard as Lt. Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes, a friend, employee, and sidekick of Tony Stark, or Iron Man. Howard decided not to continue the role of Rhodey in the subsequent Marvel films, and Don Cheadle was recast as Rhodey in the Marvel movies that followed.
Catwoman – The Batman TV Series
Batman is a character that has had numerous movies, TV shows, and video games dedicated to him, and it’s only natural that some of them would have undergone recasting. The Batman TV series that ran from 1966 to 1968 portrayed Julie Newmar as Catwoman, the first-ever Catwoman on TV. She played the role of Catwoman during the first two seasons, but Eartha Kitt took over the role in the show’s third and final season.