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Former Bolton Wanderers Captain Goes Stateside

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Former Bolton Wanderers captain Zat Knight has successfully finalised his move to the MLS. He will join Colorado Rapids on a short-term deal until the end of the season.

This is the rhythm of Zat Knight, Zat Knight...
This is the rhythm of Zat Knight, Zat Knight...
Michael Steele

Zat Knight was free to make the trip across the pond after Dougie Freedman decided against extending Knight's tenure at the Macron Stadium.

Knight was brought to the club in 2009 for £4m by former Wanderers manager, Gary Megson, and had enjoyed a fairly successful start to his Bolton career. He was a valued member in the club's FA Cup run in 2011, and he even netted a crucial goal against Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United side, not bad for a big, clumsy centre back.

Despite the fairly promising start to Knight's Bolton career, his form slowly started to decline when the club was relegated to the championship in May, 2012. After a horrific display against Middlesbrough in the SkyBet Championship last year in which he cost the team twice with crucial mistakes, the fans had finally lost their faith, and patience with Knight, and he consequently often became a scapegoat for the team's poor performances.

Despite being the club's captain for the duration of last season Knight, 34, was not offered a new contract at the end of this season, and subsequently was free to join Colorado Rapids as an unattached player.

Knight has only signed until the end of this current MLS season, which only has 7 games remaining.

Speaking to the Denver Post about his future and short term plans, this is what Knight had to say about his next venture in football,

"I'm just here until the end of the season at the moment. Hopefully, I can put in some good performances and they can pick me up and we can see where things go from there.

"For the back end of the season, my personal goal is just to try and play as many games as possible and leave the team in a better position than they are now. It would be nice to get into a play-off position. I'm trying to take one step at a time first."

"I heard a lot about MLS," he added. "I've got a few friends that are in the league, and played with a few boys in England that are from America.

"They say it's a lot different, travel-wise and you're always playing, playing, playing. It's a new adventure for myself, I've never played abroad so I'm looking forward to a different style of football.

"It's a tough time (for the Rapids), but the only way to get out of this is to keep on working and keep believing in each other," Knight said. "So hopefully we can keep the morale up in the seven games we've got left."

Knight will likely not play on Saturday night against the Portland Timbers at Dick's Sporting Goods Park as he completes immigration paperwork. But he hopes to make his debut in Rapids burgundy later this month, perhaps as soon as the following weekend for a match at rival Real Salt Lake on Sept. 19.

"I haven't trained with players for a while so it was good to get back into the mix of things," he said. "Hopefully, as the training sessions build up, I get a bit sharper."

Knight isn't the first former Bolton Wanderers captain to go Stateside in recent history. Following relegation from the Premier League 2 years ago, Nigel Reo-Coker activated a release clause in his contract and left the club. After a brief spell in East Anglia with Ipswich Town, he later joined Vancouver Whitecaps on his first American venture. Reo-Coker has since moved clubs again, joining Chivas USA.

We all wish Zat the best of luck in the USA!