Official: Niko Kranjčar joins the New York Cosmos for Spring 2016

12381242_10154194438486091_1900432709_oAfter a training stint that dates back over a month and recent hints from Gio suggested that this would be the case, Niko Kranjčar has finally been announced as the newest New York Cosmos.

With history primarily as an attacking midfielder, Kranjčar’s experience has been extensive.

Beginning his career at Dinamo Zagreb, he scored in his debut at only 16 and became the squad’s youngest captain at 17. After winning hardware with them, he was transferred to rival Hajduk Split, helping take them to a league title, as well.

After this, Niko’s international adventure began as he made his way to Portsmouth and the Premier League before a transfer put him with Tottenham Hotspurs.

Kranjčar would then move to Dynamo Kyiv of Ukraine and play a season for them before spending the last two seasons on loan with Queens Park Rangers, first helping find promotion to the Premier League, then playing the next season in it with them.

Niko’s international appearance has been impressive with over 80 caps for the senior Croatian national team, including appearances in the 2008 and 2012 Euros and 2006 World Cup. There’s also an argument that he would have played the 2014 World Cup if injury hadn’t sidelined him.

Niko Kranjčar and Giovanni Savarese (Photo: NY Cosmos)

Niko Kranjčar and Giovanni Savarese (Photo: NY Cosmos)

After awards including league titles in his native Croatia and an FA Cup, Niko will join the cause to secure a 2016 NASL league title and make a deeper push into the US Open Cup.

I couldn’t be more satisfied. I’ve only had the chance to see him play twice. At the LIU scrimmage, it looked like he had the Senna/Raul “license to roam” and he used it to his advantage. And when the Cosmos looked to be in serious trouble while playing San Jose, his substitution in immediately settled the midfield, helped them find their game, and made them challenge the Earthquakes.

Looking forward to how he he could help us with MLS competition in the Open Cup, in particular.

 

12421978_10154190837236091_2144778218_oHonestly? The signing of Niko Kranjčar makes us a U.S. Open Cup contender. I just have to say it.

Granted, it was a very small (two games) sample size, but Niko has shown what an incredible asset he is to this team. At LIU, his first touch was absolutely immaculate at times. He played the Senna role extremely well, and even had an incredible turn and shoot for a goal late in the second half. In San Jose, he came on and instantly settled down a jumpy and discombobulated midfield. He’s done extremely well, and he hasn’t even featured at his natural positions (wing, CAM, or 2nd striker) yet.

I sincerely haven’t been this excited about a signing in a long time. To have this type of player, at this age, with this much experience is so invaluable. Yes, he’s had “motivation issues” at former clubs and came here due to fitness issues, but I truly believe this will turn out to be a great move.

 

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