Australian international Tim Cahill said today that the ambition shown by New York Red Bulls convinced him to leave the Premier League and sign for the Major League Soccer side.
Cahill left Everton for the MLS, with the move subject to international clearance, and with the Red Bulls currently top of the Eastern Conference the 32-year-old is determined to help his side claim what would be their first title.
"I am very happy to start a new chapter of my career with the New York Red Bulls," Cahill told the official website. "As we have seen over the past few years, MLS has developed into a very competitive league with many talented players.
"I am impressed with what the Red Bulls are trying to accomplish in MLS and within American soccer and I am looking forward to this new challenge. I will do everything I can to help bring New York its first MLS Cup."
The club are also counting on Cahill, who played on Australia's last two FIFA World Cup™ teams, to make a difference. "We are absolutely thrilled to bring in a player of Tim's calibre to the Red Bulls," said New York Red Bulls general manager and sporting director Erik Soler.
"He is the technical, physical presence we have been looking to add in our team and he brings a wealth of experience to our club having played in some of the highest levels of international soccer. Tim is a proven leader both on and off the field and we believe that he can help us immediately in our quest to win the MLS Cup this season."
Cahill, who had two years left on his Everton contract, joined the Toffees from Millwall in 2004, scoring 68 goals in 278 appearances. "I also want to thank everyone at Everton, from the club to tremendous supporters," he added. "It has been a privilege to be an Everton player for the past eight years and it was a very difficult decision to leave. I will always support Everton and I wish the club the best of luck in the future."
Everton chairman Bill Kenwright has expressed his "heartfelt thanks" to the departing Cahill. "On a personal level, I will miss the first-ever player that David and I went to see together, and the wide-eyed bundle of energy that walked into my office a short time later and told me that Everton was his destiny," Kenwright told Press Association Sport.
"And he now embarks on a new stage of his career with our heartfelt thanks, and of course our real best wishes for his future. "I can guarantee New York Red Bulls will have many, many admirers cheering them on from across the Ocean. All wearing the Blue of Everton. Thank you Tim"