rowdies sign premier league star joe cole
The Rowdies on Wednesday announced a three-year deal with midfielder Joe Cole, a three-time English Premier League champion as a member of Chelsea.
"He's one of the most technically gifted players around,'' coach Stuart Campbell said.
The hope is Cole, 34, will clear through visa issues and be with the club for its next game, at home against Rayo OKC on May 14.
Cole became available when his Coventry City, playing in English third-level League One, wrapped up its season.
There was mutual interest as Cole took in a Rowdies training session in February while visiting St. Petersburg with his family (wife, Carly and children Ruby, 6, Harry, 4 and newborn Max). Cole also attended Tampa Bay's March preseason game in England against Stoke City.
"Everyone was lovely, they really made us feel welcomed," Cole told the team's website. "My desire to win football matches is still there. I'm not coming for an extended holiday."
Cole played for Chelsea from 2003-10 and had 56 national team appearances, playing for England in three World Cups.
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Darek Sharp, Times correspondent; Times wires