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Atlanta United, the MLS expansion side who will join the league in 2017, now have seven players in their squad but by far the biggest-name signing so far is striker Kenwyne Jones.

The Trinidad and Tobago international - who spent much of his career in the Premier League with the likes of Sunderland and Stoke - caused a media stir when it was announced he was joining two weeks ago.

So much so that the rapper Ludacris, who hails from the city, gave the 31-year-old a warm welcome on Twitter.

Ahead of his arrival in Atlanta this week, Jones took time to answer some questions from The Telegraph about his imminent move.

Q How did the move to Atlanta United come about?

A Well it was pretty much going through various familiar channels of people in my network who know officials in Atlanta, who worked with my agents, reps and my camp in general.


Q How did the club sell themselves to you? Did you visit them? What did they say their plans were?

A It was all about the plans of the club. Most importantly though, it was about mutual respect that showed throughout the process, it was impressive.

Carlos [Bocanegra] and the admin knew what they wanted, my camp and I knew what I was looking for, so the interest of them wanting me and me going there sort of felt like a natural progression.

Q Have you always wanted to play in MLS?

A At some points in my career, yeah I thought about it. The MLS interest has always been there, especially as a member of the CONCACAF region.

Q Did you have other options? If yes, why did you pick Atlanta?

A I had quite a few other options, yes. But at this stage of my career it would mean a lot to be a part of something new. There’s history being made here; it’s a new era of football for Atlanta and the MLS, and I want to be a part of that. Also, being closer to home [Trinidad and Tobago] is a big plus.

Q What do you think will be the biggest challenges - plane travel, turf, being on a brand new team etc?

A I don’t think I need to worry about big challenges, because over the last 14 years in my career, I’ve honestly seen, experienced and learned a lot.

Plane travel, I’ve done it all – from Trinidad to Dubai. Climate, I’ve dealt with it all as a Caribbean footballer in different continents. New team dynamics, I’ve worked with and learned from the best talents and administrations in Premier and Championship leagues.

Being a new franchise, there will be challenges, it’s a part of the growth process. I’m really confident in the people at the top of the administrative side of AUFC – they are all football people with lots of experience both on and off the field. It’s definitely a journey that I’m looking forward to.

Q You must have been pleased with the reaction online - lots of tweets etc...

A Yeah definitely, I’m always glad to talk to fans and just generally getting the chance to see so many people passionate in the moment about me coming, and supporting the club and the MLS as a whole on this new expansion adventure.

Q You even got a tweet from the rapper Ludacris - do you know each other?

A I guess we know each other now! I’ve always been a fan of his music and his love for his home city. He and the entire AUFC family are looking forward to welcoming me and my family to Atlanta soon, and yeah I’m ready to hit that Georgia flow.

Q How important is your upcoming loan spell at Central FC before your move to Atlanta?

A As captain of the T&T team, being in shape for national duties is really important, with World Cup qualifiers still ongoing. I’ll be working hard to remain active and be in top form.

Q Does the fact that you are going to MLS aged 31 - and not 35 - show that the league is becoming more attractive place for players?

A I guess it can give an indication to all sorts of people. Everyone has an idea on when they think they’re ready to be a part of something.

For me, quality will always be key, and it’s a good time for me to be going to Atlanta United to help improve the league and set the franchise on a historic journey, play at the highest level and always give 100 per cent to the club, the fans and the sport.