Djorkaeff set to join MLS giants

Djorkaeff set to join MLS giants

Friday, February 18, 2005

Former France international Youri Djorkaeff is joining Major League
Soccer outfit New York/New Jersey Metrostars.

The 36-year-old former Monaco, Paris St Germain, Internazionale,
Kaiserslautern, Bolton and Blackburn striker is eager to start his new
life in the United States after finally sealing the deal with the MLS.

“This is a new life starting for me,” Djorkaeff, a member of France’s
1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 winning teams, told a Paris press
conference on Friday.

“I have been spoilt throughout my career and I had decided to retire
if the deal with New York fell though.

“I had no wish to join a club in Qatar. On the contrary it was a
sporting and life choice, as it’s always been a dream for me to live
in the United States.

“I am leaving France on Sunday with all my family who are also eager
to start this new adventure with me,” added the veteran forward,
whose family roots are in Armenia and who is an honorary citizen of
that country.

Djorkaeff wants to help soccer develop in the United States.

“I have been in touch with them since I was at Bolton,” added the
Frenchman, who said that his three-month spell at Ewood Park earlier
this season was mainly to keep him fit.

“I really wanted to move to the United States. The MLS is a very
interesting league. There are 12 clubs this season but there will be
14 next which shows there is a real desire to take it forward.

“I would like to sort of open a door. Soccer is not well known in
America and I want to contribute to making it more popular.”

The length of Djorkaeff’s contract has not been revealed.

He said: “I can’t tell for how long I will stay because when you sign
for an American club there is no definite time.”

Club president Nick Sakiewicz added: “It’s been two years of
discussions. Youri is a real gentleman and I will be very happy to
see him play every weekend for us.

“As long as Youri has fit legs, he will play with us.”

The American league will kick off on April 2 with the Metrostars
facing Real Salt Lake City.

Djorkaeff is to join his future team-mates in Ecuador where the team
are currently following a pre-season training programme.