Tim Cahill signs with Shanghai Shenhua of Chinese Super League

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

Just hours following his announced departure from the New York Red Bulls, Tim Cahill revealed his next club destination — and it is close to home.

The Australian legend joins Shanghai Shenhua of the Chinese Super League in a shock move.  This after two and a half years in New York.

“I’ll make an impact in China on the pitch, I promise you,” Cahill told reporters. “When I go somewhere I’ll do it properly.”

Cahill certainly made an impact with the Red Bulls prior to a sour final season in Harrison.  The Australian striker played out of position for most of his stay in New York.  Nevertheless, Cahill managed to score 12 goals in 29 appearances in his first full season with the Red Bulls and helping New York snag their first trophy — the Supporters’ Shield.

After finding himself at odds with Red Bull management, both sides decided to terminate his deal in MLS, opening the doors for this new opportunity.

“I’ve done the Premier League, I’ve done America. New York was amazing for me … (but) China is a growing market in football,” he said.  “You see in the (Asian Cup quarter-final) game that we played against China, millions of people watched it and I’m someone who is embracing culture and a different aspect of life.”

Cahill was connected with teams from England, Spain and the UAE before settling with Shanghai.

The move will allow Cahill to move closer to home.  With Australia in decent traveling distance, Cahill can further preserve his body for an improbable goal — featuring in a fifth World Cup come 2018.

For now, however, the 35-year-old Cahill is focused on the challenge ahead.

“It’s all about doing what I want to do as footballer and trying different leagues and I think it’s exciting.”