Carlos Mendes has become the first player to sign with MLS expansion hopefuls New York Cosmos.
The 31-year old has been brought in by chief Erik Stover for the inaugural Cosmos squad which will begin playing competitively next year in the North American Soccer League under Giovanni Savarese.
Mendes spent time with New York Red Bull between 2005 and 2011 (making 166 appearances) before moving to Columbus Crew last year but will continue his career with the Cosmos.
"I have so much respect for Gio and for Erik. I've known them for a long time. It's a huge part of why I chose play for this club and to come home,'' said Mendes.
"It's incredible to be able to play for a Cosmos team that has so much history, and do it in the community I grew up in, before family and friends. It's a big honor It's very humbling being the first player signed by the Cosmos, especially with all the big names that have played here in the past. Hopefully I can help keep the team focused and win some more championships."