Didier Drogba joins U.S. third tier club as player, co-owner
The Toffees' finish to the 2016-17 season could dictate whether the Belgian stays or goes come June, but one thing for certain is Drogba has complete faith in his former team-mate to become a hit if he returns to Stamford Bridge.
"PHOENIX â€" Didier Drogba, one of the most decorated players of his generation, has signed with Phoenix Rising FC of the United Soccer League.
"I look forward for their continuing success in the USL, with no city is better placed than Phoenix for growth to the MLS".
"It's a big project and they offered me the chance to become co-owner with my experience and knowledge from football for all these years as a player, to help the club to grow and become a big part of the MLS", he said.
Phoenix are looking to join America's top division the Major League Soccer as an expansion franchise and Drogba will play a role in developing the club off the field.
I want to carry on playing but, at the same time, I'm nearly 40 so it's important for me to prepare for what happens after my career.
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Drogba will team up with former New York Red Bull, Shaun Wright-Phillips as the club vies for one of the 4 expansion spots on offer from MLS that are expected to be announced later in 2017. Established in 2013, the club enters its fourth year in the United Soccer League, which has been awarded Division 2 status by the U.S. Soccer Federation.
By the league's arcane and inscrutable player acquisition rules, the Chicago Fire had dibs on Drogba, and by all accounts the club really wanted him, both for his star power and because the team was in desperate need of a proven goalscorer.
Drogba' addition is expected to help boost the club's profile and the 3 year old says he is excited at the opportunity of expanding the club.
Drogba scored 157 goals in 341 appearances during his first spell at Chelsea from 2004 to 2012, winning three Premier League titles and the Champions League.
Drogba has since moved on from Montreal and his new gig follows the same logic. "This is a transition for me", he said.
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Apr 18 2017