A staple of the New York Cosmos back line, Spaniard Ayoze has been crucial to their fortunes from starting 29 of the 30 matches he played, to sinking a penalty in their shootout at the NASL Final. His performance earned him an NASL Golden Ball nomination and spot in the league’s Best XI alongside captain Carlos Mendes and midfielder Juan Arango.
But could this be his last season with the club?
The left back recently appeared on Radio Marca Tenerife, an outlet from his home island of Tenerife. Topics included, among other things, the year the Cosmos had and his thoughts on securing yet another trophy.
“It’s been a good year in every aspect,” Ayoze told the Canary Island station. “I’ve had the luck to play in nearly every game, have the confidence of the coach and my teammates and with the combined work of the team, I think we’ve done an incredible job and we’ve found another championship, which was no easy feat.”
“We knew it was going to be tough, after last season with huge players like Raul and Marcos Senna, who are irreplaceable, but people arrived with desires and dreams. More importantly, the group has been strong. More than a club, we’ve been a family and i think that’s been the key to success this year.”The conversation covered other items, including opinions on his old club, CD Tenerife, and his thoughts on the quality of the NASL on the field.
“It’s growing. Every year, this league is more competitive. Players come from around the world with the desire to win.”
“The quality of the league grew a great deal this year,” he said. “The Final was very complicated and was contested heavily for 90 minutes, then extra time and, luckily, we were able to win it in penalties.”
But it was the talk about next season that might have Cosmos fans white-knuckled with the prospect of losing a key member of their team.
“Right now, I don’t know,” answered Ayoze when asked about his plans for next season. “What I do know is that I have another year remaining on my contract here with the Cosmos and I’m here having my best moments both as a footballer and in all other aspects.”
“I do have offers to go to MLS and it’s a decision I’ll make calmly. We just finished, I’m enjoying this title for a few days and then, little by little, I’ll make a decision; what’s right for me, for my family.”With the news that Juan Arango could also be looking at options outside the Cosmos, the 2016-17 offseason could potentially be a tough one for a club that could lose its two, arguably, best pieces on the field.