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Marcos Senna to join Cosmos

Spanish-Brazilian midfielder Marcos Senna will continue his career in the U.S. -- but not in MLS.

The former Spain international is set to join the New York Cosmos of the second-tier North American Soccer League, the team confirmed on its website on Thursday.

Sports Illustrated first reported the news that Senna was headed to the Cosmos last week, but the link is no longer available on the site. A subsequent Reuters report then indicated that he had signed with MLS.

Senna gave a farewell press conference Wednesday to honor his 11-year association with Spanish side Villarreal.

"This is a very special moment for me in joining the Cosmos because I face a new challenge, but at the same time it has been a difficult decision to leave Villarreal after 11 seasons," said Senna.

Senna, who turns 37 next month, is Villarreal's all-time appearance leader, having played in 363 games in all competitions. He also has a history of knee injuries, but was healthy enough this season to appear in 33 matches, as he led the Yellow Submarine to promotion back to La Liga after the club was relegated following the 2011-12 campaign. Senna was also part of the Villarreal squad that reached the semifinals of the 2005-06 UEFA Champions League.

A holding midfielder with plenty of bite, Senna has also forged a reputation as an adept passer. He became a naturalized Spanish citizen in 2006, and helped lead La Roja to victory at Euro 2008, where he was named to the team of the tournament.

The source indicated that Senna turned down offers from several La Liga clubs to play in New York, and added that the Cosmos are paying him the equivalent of what an average designated player would make in MLS.

The artificial surface at Hofstra University, the Cosmos' home venue, is a concern given Senna's injury history. But if he can stay healthy, he'll add a significant dose of credibility to the club.

The Cosmos will begin play in the NASL this August.

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