£7m Newcastle United injury flop playing in American second tier

Former Toon striker Carl Cort is now plying his trade in the North American Soccer League.

When the late great Sir Bobby Robson snapped up a talented frontman Carl Cort for £7 million in the summer of 2000 not many people questioned the legendary gaffer.

Cort was an England Under-21 international, powerful, 6ft 4ins centre forward and at the time was just 22-years-old and his five-year deal suggested a long future at St James Park.

In the end things did not pan out for the striker. Not entirely of his own volition his time at Newcastle was largely forgettable. He scored on his home debut and showed early signs of promise on Tyneside.

But he suffered with hamstring problems and his time at Newcastle widely involved time spent on the treatment table and not the football pitch.

For years he became far more infamous with being a £7 million man who never played for England and for being confused with Shola Ameobi by the mercurial boss.

So what is he up to these days?

Well I stumbled across his location the other day when scrolling through the results on Soccerway.

I knew he was at Brentford for a while and before then he was at Wolves, Leicester City, Marbella and Norwich City; whilst he also had a spell on trial with AFC Wimbledon.

But now he is playing for the Tampa Bay Rowdies in what is the second tier of American soccer.

I stumbled across the now 35-year-old’s name after he was sent off against Atlanta Silverbacks last month.

The Rowdies play in the North American Soccer League and are a revamp of the former Rowdies line up from the 1970’s and onward with whom Rodney Marsh, Sam Allardyce and Mark Lawrenson all played for at some point in their careers.

Cort signed for them in August of last year and in 2012 he won the NASL title with the club. But playing time has been at a premium for the now Guyanese international footballer.

He has played just 78 minutes for the club this season; largely being used as a substitute for the club.

His time at Newcastle is largely forgotten but he actually scored seven goals in his 15 games at St James Park in 2000-01 and were it not for his injury problems who knows what would have happened in Cort’s career.

But as it is Cort will always be remembered for the nuances of his time at Newcastle and nothing else.

image: © mickyb59

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