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February 02, 2015

HARRISON, New Jersey (AP) — Australia midfielder Tim Cahill says he is leaving the New York Red Bulls and Major League Soccer after two years to join Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua.

The 35-year-old Cahill has a year to run on his contract but has reached an agreement with New York to leave early and become a free agent. The attacking midfielder scored 14 goals during his MLS stay.

"I've enjoyed every moment of my time at the Red Bulls and leave with great memories. I joined with the ambition of helping to grow and positively affect soccer in the U.S. and I feel immensely proud of what we achieved as a team during my time in the MLS," he said.

Cahill, who has played for Everton and Millwall in the English Premier League, said joining Shanghai would offer him a fresh challenge.

"I've done the Premier League, I've done America," he said. "New York was amazing for me ... (but) China is a growing market in football. I'm at an age where I want to give something back to football and still play at a high level.

"It's all about doing what I want to do as footballer and trying different leagues, and I think it's exciting."

Cahill signed with New York as a designated player in July 2012, and he played a major role the following season in helping the Red Bulls win the Supporter's Shield, scoring seven of his 11 goals and setting up two others in the final 11 games.

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