England World Cup veteran midfielder Joe Cole is continuing his career in the United States.
Cole signed with the NASL's Tampa Bay Rowdies on Wednesday, inking a deal through the 2017 season that also includes a club option for 2018. The 34-year-old Cole, who most notably played for West Ham and Chelsea during its rise to Premier League prominence, was most recently with Coventry City in England's third tier, League One.
“It’s a very exciting time for me,” Cole said in a statement. “I’ve always envisaged playing in the United States at some point in my life and this opportunity came up. My family and I came out to visit a few months ago and everyone was lovely, they really made us feel welcomed. 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. I want to win football matches and of course experience a new lifestyle with my family, but the priority for me is success on the pitch.”
Rowdies owner Bill Edwards put an interesting spin on Cole's career, during which he won three Premier League titles and three FA Cups while also appearing at the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups.
"Cole has appeared in more World Cups than Gary Lineker, won more EPL Championships than Bryan Robson and more FA Cups than David Beckham," Edwards said. "It’s a career he can be proud of, and on top of that, he is a great guy. This is a significant signing for the NASL and we are proud to have him as part of the Rowdies team."
Tampa Bay sits in fifth place in the NASL after five matches.