By Will Butcher
England international Carlton Cole has signed for a third-tier side in America after failing to secure a deal elsewhere, it was announced on Wednesday.
The former West Ham striker’s last spell was at Scottish Champions Celtic, where he made just five appearances in eight months.
The four-year-old United Soccer League outfit confirmed the move via their official website, after the 32-year-old put pen to paper at the Bonney Field.
BREAKING: Republic FC sign Premier League veteran @CarltonCole1.
— Republic FC (@SacRepublicFC) August 9, 2016
The Republic’s English contingency grows, as former Cheltenham Town manager Paul Buckle has now brought in former Robins forward Harry Williams, ex-Liverpool striker Daniel Trickett-Smith and Cole to bolster his attacking options.
The Chelsea graduate made his professional debut for the West London side in 2002, coming on as a substitute against Everton. He has also had spells Wolves, Charlton and Aston Villa.
But the striker will be mostly remembered for his nine years in East London, where he made almost made 300 appearances for the Hammers; falling just seven games short in all competitions.
Cole had his hand in exactly 100 goals, scoring 67 and laying on 33 more in assists as he endeared himself to the West Ham faithful.
The target man made his England debut against Spain and has seven caps for his country, but failed to score in any of those.
In other West Ham transfer news, this striker could be heading to East London as part of a swap deal.