It’s one of the most congested periods in the Cosmos schedule and the club now has to field some unexpected issues regarding roster depth. The latest issue? The recall of Mike Lahoud to the Philadephia Union and the subsequent sale of the player to Miami FC of the NASL.
Lahoud, acquired via loan from the Union as part of the transaction where they obtained Walter Restrepo, joined the Cosmos prior to the club’s 2016 preseason campaign. He factored heavily in their spring campaign, starting their first seven matches of the year. While present at Shuart Stadium, he was not in the 18 for the New York side during their win over the Tampa Bay Rowdies last weekend, prompting a start from Danny Szetela.
“We have been informed that the Philadelphia Union have sold the contract rights to Michael Lahoud to Miami FC,” said Cosmos Chief Operating Officer Erik Stover. “Michael was on loan to us for the 2016 season, but his rights always remained with Philadelphia. We are sorry to see him go. He was a great player and teammate for our club. We wish him best of luck on his new venture.”
The season-long loan to the Cosmos gave the Union the right to recall the player at any time, a standard in all MLS loans. However, it is surprising to see him recalled and sent away after only eight games.
Furthermore, it appears there is no other compensation for the Cosmos from the Union, meaning the MLS side was able to acquire Restrepo and still pocket additional money after recalling a player the Cosmos planned to have for the year after a handful of games
The Cosmos’ current dilemma now lies in fielding squads strong enough to challenge for the Spring title with games against Rayo OKC and the Strikers in the next two weeks. They also have a friendly against SD Eibar on Wednesday, their first Open Cup match next week against Jersey Express, and a possible NYCFC derby rematch on June 15th.
Injuries have plagued the team recently with players like Eric Calvillo, Alexis Velela, Gabriel Farfán, Adam Moffat, and, more recently, Niko Kranjčar all making the list. The team will really test the depth of their roster with the congested schedule ahead.
“We have a lot of depth on this team and we expect the other players to step up,” said New York Cosmos Head Coach and Sporting Director Giovanni Savarese. “The competition for starting positions in the central midfield will continue to be strong.”