Fans of the New York Cosmos have waited for the announcement of roster moves with a mixture of anticipation and nervousness. After capturing their second title in three years, keeping the core of the club would be considered crucial for an attempt to continue the successes of 2015.
Thursday, December 3rd saw a list of changes announced. Not included, but still of major importance. were the retirements of Marcos Senna and Raul.
The rest of the announcements? Well, they hit Cosmos Country with a mixture of feelings, good and bad.
Below is a short summary of what the club announced:
Sebastian Guenzatti – With the club since 2013, the midfielder fell out of the starting XI for a portion of the year but found himself back in it by the year’s end. An obvious chemistry with new striker Gaston Cellerino paid off large dividends towards the end of the year.
Adam Moffat – A strong option in the holding mid, Moffat made a statement for a regular starting bid when Marcos Senna suffered injury and, for a time, was looked at as the single starting option in defensive mid spot until injury ended his season.
Ruben Bover – The Cosmos B product saw increased time on the field in the later stages of the year, proving a solid option in the midfield, either in the attacking or defensive roles.
David Diosa – Part of the old Cosmos Academy East, Diosa was able to win a spot with the club in 2013. The forward found himself utilized in a new role last year, when he began to be used as a member of the back line, displaying versatility. He did encounter difficulty in finding field time.
Haji Wright – A star on the US U-17 Youth National Team, Haji spent much of the year with Cosmos B, getting a limited number of appearances on the first team. Many have discussed his intentions to spend the year with the Cosmos before moving on to Europe.
Kharlton Belmar – A member of Portland Timbers 2 of the USL, the forward joined on loan at the beginning of October after being the leading scorer on the USL side. He saw little time with the Cosmos.
Samuel Caceres – The Paraguayan defender joined on loan from his Argentine club, Nueva Chicago. He made 14 appearances across the year, but seemed to fall farther down the depth chart as the year went on.
John Neeskens – The captain of Cosmos B in their inaugural season was promoted to the first team after he led them to an NPSL championship. The race to first place at the end of the season and return of Roversio most likely affected his chances to feature and the son of a Cosmos great departs without a single minute played with the NASL side.
Keasel Broome – The Barbadian international spent a large part of the year recovering from injury. Between that and competition for the number two keeper spot coming from Kyle Zobeck and Brian Holt, it’s not surprising to see him on his way.
Gaston Cellerino – The hat trick hero of the Soccer Bowl. While he experienced a rough start with the club, his finish was strong, as evidenced by his performance in the final.
Hagop Chirishian – The midfielder saw time with Cosmos B and limited opportunities with the first team, but made good use of his few chances.
Jimmy Mulligan – Another re-purposed player, the midfielder saw time on the back line, showing versatility.
Kyle Zobeck – 2014’s number two keeper spent a considerable amount of time recovering from injury and made one appearance late in the regular season.
Brian Holt – Signed before the start of 2015, the keeper made only one appearance and had a solid outing.
There are two additional factors to consider. Walter Restrepo is testing the waters of free agency. The midfielder, and his ability to terrorize defenders on both sides of the field, would be a big loss for the team. However, as stated in a recent interview with Empire of Soccer [link], the Cosmos have permitted him to explore his options and will not exercise their option on his contract unless he chooses to stay.
The other factor is Leo Fernandes. His loan from the Philadelphia Union has expired, and the Cosmos are working on finding a way to keep him, either under a new loan or as a permanent transfer. However, their work may be cut out for them as Cosmos Country found out the Union tried to recall him in the middle of the year. Time will tell whether the 2015 NASL Young Player of the Year will be on the Cosmos roster come 2016.
It’s still early for transfer news and signings remain to be seen.
Stay tuned, Cosmos Country.