According to a tweet from First Wave Sports, US youth international Alexis Velela, who signed with the Cosmos in August of last year, will reportedly travel to La Liga club Málaga CF for some early preseason training.
The young player did not see any appearances with the senior team in 2015, although the roster turnover this year might present some opportunities to him this season.
He’s not the first to make the trip, as Hunter Gorskie and Sebastian Guenzatti both saw time with the Spanish club in early 2015, working with the club and its reserve side, Atlético Malagueño.
If this is true, could this be an indicator of a consistent, good relationship between the two clubs? Recently, Savarese made comments about seeing more European clubs come to the table in regards to potential acquisition of youth players, but perhaps other deals are available to them.
The New York Cosmos have been consistent champions of player development. This has led to a number of initiatives: the Training and Development Program camps, their involvement with the Academy Affiliates program, Cosmos B in the NPSL, and most recently, the announcement of the development academy.
Take the case of Walter Restrepo.
Poached from the San Antonio Scorpions after the 2014 season, the midfielder joined the club as a highly desirable player in the league: a two-time NASL Best XI player, including the 2014 season and a Soccer Bowl champion winning it all with the Scorpions.
And still, for Giovanni Savarese, it was not enough.
“We’ve seen tremendous growth from him this year and, actually, the way he played the final, the way he defended in the final is something you wouldn’t see at the beginning of the year. It led to a more complete player. By being a more complete player, there were more teams interested in him,” said the head coach and sporting director to the media recently.
The Cosmos seem focused on doing what it takes to get the maximum out of their players be it in-house through academy, Cosmos B, and beyond or even sending them overseas.