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Leagues: NASL

Joe Cole signs for Tampa Bay Rowdies

Miami (AFP) – Former England and Chelsea star Joe Cole has signed a deal with US second tier side the Tampa Bay Rowdies, the club said Wednesday.

The 34-year-old attacking midfielder joins the North American Soccer League (NASL) team on a deal which runs through to the end of the 2017 season.

The club has an option for 2018. No further contract details were revealed.

“Joe is a fantastic player, a player I know well from my time in England,” said Rowdies head coach Stuart Campbell.

“His experience not just on the field, but off it, is invaluable for us. One of the biggest things I took from my conversations with Joe was his love of the game and how badly he wants to win matches.”

SEE MORE: Schedule of NASL games on US TV and live streaming

Cole joins the Rowdies from English third division side Coventry where he has played since joining on loan from Aston Villa in 2015 before making the move permanent in January.

Cole spent the bulk of a successful club career with English Premier League side Chelsea, winning three championship titles, three FA Cups and two League Cups.

He was a member of the Chelsea side beaten in the 2008 Champions League final in Moscow.

He earned 56 caps for England, scoring 10 goals and played in three World Cups.

“It’s a very exciting time for me,” said Cole. “I’m really excited to get started and I want to be part of a successful team.

“My desire to win football matches is still there, I’m not coming for an extended holiday.”

Tampa Bay play in the NASL. Although regarded as the second tier of US soccer, there is no promotion to Major League Soccer from the league.

 

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