Former Real forward Raul joins New York Cosmos
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former Real Madrid and Spain forward Raul has joined New York Cosmos for the 2015 season on a "multi-year" contract pending a medical, the North American Soccer League (NASL) club said on Thursday.
As part of the deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, Raul, 37, will also become a technical adviser for the club's youth academy, which he will take over on a full time basis when he retires from playing, Cosmos said on their website (www.nycosmos.com).
"Everyone throughout the soccer world knows the Cosmos name and the legacy of the players that played for this team previously," Raul said.
"They helped establish soccer in America and I’m honored to follow in their footsteps," added the former Real and Spain captain, who will join up with former international team mate Marcos Senna in New York.
"I believe in this club's vision and I’m excited to be a part of that."
Raul becomes the latest big-name import to sign up for the Cosmos, following the likes of Pele and Franz Beckenbauer, who played for the original team in the 1970s.
The club took soccer in the U.S. from a kids' pastime to glitzy big time news, filling the old Giants Stadium for games against teams like the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
But when the debt-ridden NASL folded in the 1980s, the dream of the Cosmos becoming an established force in the global game died with it.
The NASL was re-established in late 2009, and Cosmos was reborn along with it, and functions as the second tier of U.S. club soccer below Major League Soccer (MLS). Continued...