Sacramento Republic FC announced today that they have signed Carlton Cole for the remainder of this season to help bolster their corps of forwards and boost their goal scoring numbers. Republic Head Coach Paul Buckle has repeatedly said that the club has been looking for a forward to help put the ball in the net, and it seems as though Cole is the player he has settled on as the answer up top.
Buckle had this to say on his new signing in a Republic press release.
Cole needs no introduction. In terms in what he has does in the game, he has played at the highest level throughout his career and it shows he is a top player and very good professional. When he became available, we realized the good he can bring, his invaluable experience and that he can score goals.
The 32-year-old Cole brings a wealth of experience to a fairly young Republic team. Now in his 15th year as a professional player, Cole is most well known for his 10 years with English Premier League club West Ham United, where he played in 256 games and scored 55 goals. Cole most recently spent time with the storied Scottish Premiership team, Celtic FC, where he played four games and scored no goals.
Although Cole is 32 and likely in the tail end of his career as a player, it seems that he has more than enough still left in the tank to be a valuable player for the Republic moving forward. After all, how many USL teams can say that they have a former Premier League forward on their team?
With the addition of Cole, the Republic now have four forwards on their roster: Cameron Iwasa, Harry Williams, Mackenzie Pridham, and Carlton Cole.
With all his experience, it seems almost guaranteed that Cole will now have a starting spot. Cameron Iwasa seems to be the likely choice for the Republic’s second forward at the moment, but Williams or Pridham could always make their cases with particularly impressive performances.
In addition to the contributions that Cole will have on the field, his arrival in Sacramento gives the Republic an excuse for some new merch.
@CarltonCole1 the legend lives on as we set off to Europe #alwaysbelievein pic.twitter.com/eWjxaTCEvp— Peter Taylor (@PeterTaylorC) July 26, 2016
So that’s pretty cool, at least.
Cole will begin training with the Republic on August 16th, too late for this weekend’s game against Saint Louis FC, but just in time to face Portland Timbers 2 at Bonney Field on August 20th.
What are your thoughts about this new signing? What does your personal forward depth chart look like now? Sound off in the comments below.