BREAKING: Kenwyne Jones signs with Atlanta United

Thursday, July 14, 2016 - 20:00

National football captain Kenwyne Jones has signed a contract with MLS Club Atlanta United.

CNC3 has been reliably informed that 31-year-old Jones, who was up to recently also being linked to local club, Central FC, signed the contract today following extensive talks with the club.

Reports by several US media houses had linked Jones to the club earlier this week, although Central FC named him on a provisional list to compete in the CONCACAF Champions League, pending a signature from him.

SEE ALSO: Kenwyne Jones for Central FC?

Jones, who is currently in the United Kingdom, will travel to Atlanta within days to join the club.

He's expected to play his first game with Atlanta later this year.

Jones is joining Atlanta on a free transfer after being released by Cardiff FC. 

He played the last season on loan with  Al Jazira Club in Abu Dhabi.

Atlanta United later issued the following statement:

"Atlanta United today announced the signing of 31-year-old striker Kenwyne Jones. Jones comes to Atlanta after spending the majority of his career in the English Premier League and Championship, including time at Southampton, Sunderland, Stoke City and Cardiff City.

Jones is a strong striker and prolific goal scorer with 23 goals in 81 career appearances for his country. He scored over 100 total goals during his professional club career including 40 Premier League goals.

“Kenwyne is a player we have known about and watched for a long time,” said Atlanta United technical director Carlos Bocanegra. “He is a big physical forward who can punish you in the air or behind the defense. We’re very happy that the timing worked out and we were able to acquire him during this transfer window.”

Jones, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, began his professional career in 2002 with T & T clubs Joe Public and W Connection.  In 2004, he signed with Premier League club Southampton before going on loan to Championship side Stoke City in 2005 where he made 13 appearances and scored three goals.  He made 80 appearances for Southampton scoring 22 goals.

Jones moved to Premier League side Sunderland in 2007 where he was an offensive force scoring 32 times in 107 appearances for the club and was named Player of the Season in 2007.  He returned to Stoke City in 2010 on a four-year-deal playing for the squad in its runners-up finish in the 2010 – 2011 FA Cup. In 2014 Jones joined Cardiff City where he was a fan favorite and the top scorer for the 2015 season. Jones has had recent loan spells at AFC Bournemouth and Al Jazira in United Arab Emirates.

Long time captain of the Trinidad and Tobago national team, Jones has been capped at U-18, U-20 and U-23 Olympic team. He represented T & T in the 2006 World Cup and was named Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation’s Player of the Year in 2007.

Bocanegra played against Jones many times in his career and is familiar with his playing style.

“Kenwyne is a well-known player in the region, with top level production and experience in England and for the Trinidad and Tobago National Team,” said Bocanegra. “He is an absolute handful for defenders.”

Jones will join Atlanta United on August 1 and will go out on loan until January."

With reporting by Sports Director Robert Dumas.