CHRIS NURSE ON JOE COLE’S AMERICAN DREAM

The former Fort Lauderdale midfielder signed for Puerto Rico at the start of March 2016 ahead of the club’s inaugural season.

Chris Nurse has played for a number of English sides including Aldershot Town and Stevenage Borough.

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Chris Nurse

Nurse had his first experience of American soccer in 2009 when he signed for Rochester Rhino’s. During his time with The Raging Rhino’s, Nurse reached the USL First Division Play-Offs but his side was eliminated by Puerto Rico Islanders.

Following a brief return to England with AFC Telford United, Nurse signed for Puerto Rico Islanders, the side who he had previously faced whilst playing for Rochester. During his time with the club, the midfielder won the 2010 CFU Club Championship.

In the summer of 2010, Nurse played against LA Galaxy. During this fixture the Islanders put in an impressive performance away from home recording a 4-1 win. In the return fixture Galaxy won the match 2-1, leaving the score at 5-3 on aggregate.

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Chris Nurse (right) playing against LA Galaxy legend, Landon Donovan

The Guyana international won the USSF Division 2 Pro League after defeating Carolina Railhawks in the Play-Off final.

In March 2011, Nurse signed for Carolina Railhawks where the side managed to claim the North American Soccer League title.

The former Sutton United player re-signed for Puerto Rico Islanders in 2012 but following the side’s suspension of play, Nurse signed for FC Edmonton ahead of the 2013 season.

The midfielder made seven appearances in the North American Soccer League’s team of the week as well as being awarded with the North American Soccer League Player of the Month for August.

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Chris Nurse (right) vs Mexico

After just a year with Edmonton, Nurse joined Fort Lauderdale Strikers in January 2014 where he was part of the side who finished Runners-Up in the Soccer Bowl.

On 4th March 2016, after a brief return to Carolina RailHawks in 2015,  newly formed Puerto Rico FC signed Nurse as they prepare to build up a squad for the upcoming North American Soccer League season.

ElWriteBack editor, Charlie Russell followed up a recent interview with NASL star Jemal Johnson by speaking to league rival Chris Nurse of Puerto Rico.

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Joe Cole spent time in France with Lille. (Photo credit PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Nurse commented on the new NASL star’s move saying, “It is huge, Joe Cole at one point in time was the aspiration of every young English kid, he had all the flair, and smooth touches.

“He was also expressing himself freely in the Premier League.”

Regarding Cole’s career heading towards an end the former FC Edmonton midfielder said “Cole’s age is not of concern, he has unbelievable levels of ability and will bring a level of entertainment to the league which is like something I don’t think we will have seen before.

“On top of entertainment lets not get it mistaken the guy is a winner.

“He has won major trophies and played in the biggest competitions in the world. It makes a tremendous statement for the league.”

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Joe Cole is set to move to America at the end of his Coventry deal.

A question which has been asked by many is why Cole chose the NASL over an MLS side. In response to this Nurse said, “I think, if Cole wanted to be in MLS he would be there, he’s chosen NASL instead which is a statement of the direction the league is heading, there are now young US national team prospects playing in NASL as well as UEFA Champions League veterans.

“It is impossible to deny that the league is getting stronger and becoming a viable option. Owners are investing in player’s budgets more than before.”

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Joe Cole will wear the number 26 shirt at Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay’s manager, Stuart Campbell experienced top flight football with Leicester City. Campbell has continued his professional attitude through management and Nurse was quick to comment on the managers ability and link up with Cole.

“I do not think Stuart Campbell would sign a player just for show. If he’s signed Cole it is because he is coming to play. Tampa’s game plan will be pretty simple…give Joe Cole the ball.”

The former England international will join Tampa Bay when his Coventry City contract expires this summer.

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