After much speculation from fans on whether he’d come, the Cosmos announced the signing of attacking midfielder Juan Arango today. The 35-year-old Venezuelan leads his national team with 127 appearances and 23 goals and joins the Cosmos after spending 2014-2015 with Tijuana. In his time with the Xolos, he logged 45 appearances while finding the net 11 times.
“I’m pleased to have this opportunity to sign with a legendary club like the New York Cosmos,” said Arango.”
His career, which took him from his native Venezuela to CF Monterrey, CF Pachuca and Puebla FC of Liga MX, also took him overseas. The first stop was La Liga’s RCD Mallorca in 2004, where he spent five seasons and led the club in scoring during the 2005-06 season. He was sold to Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach in 2009, logging 153 appearances and remaining with them until 2014 and his return to Liga MX with Tijuana.
Arango also led the Venezuelan national team to fourth place in Copa America in 2011, their highest finish to date and has represented his country in the tournament six times.
The Cosmos were not the only team in the league with their eye on Arango, who had also attracted the attention of Alessandro Nesta.
Widely regarded as a free kick specialist, he brings a skill set that will certainly help fill a void left by Marcos Senna’s departure.
But, speaking of Senna, Arango’s role will include more than what he brings to the pitch. As a player with his amount of experience and exposure, Arango will be looked at to fill a void left in the locker room, too.
“Juan is a player who has demonstrated great quality throughout his career,” said Cosmos Head Coach and Sporting Director Giovanni Savarese. “He brings a tremendous amount of skill and experience with him and his leadership, on and off the pitch, will be very important for us this year.”
While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, Arango’s statements in a previous interview with Noticia al Dia indicates his plans to keep competing at the professional level for a few more years.
“I still haven’t raised the idea of retirement from professional football yet. I see myself playing until I’m 37 or 39.”
Maybe one last note to take away from this signing is how important and influential Giovanni Savarese continues to be in signings for the New York Cosmos. In this case, his history as a former player in the Venezuelan league came into play.
“Another key factor for me for joining the club is my relationship with Gio,” said the new signing. “I’m looking forward to joining him again since our time together at Caracas FC.”
Arango referred to his six-month spell with Caracas FC in 1998 prior to leaving for Monterrey.
This is a big signing for the club and could pay off heavily. What are your thoughts, Cosmos Country? Drop your comments below.