In the wake of the Cosmos 1-0 win against FC Atletico to kick off their Dominican Republic tour, TICC can now confirm the identity of one of several trialists present as Ukrainian-American Eugene Starikov.
Starikov was on the pitch for the second half of the Cosmos victory, the club confirmed Tuesday. He wore #13 during the match. The 28-year-old last played for Chornomorets of the Ukrainian Premier League and had a five-year stint at Russian giants Zenit Saint-Petersburg.
Born in the Ukrainian SSR, Starikov spent most of his early life in Huntington Beach, California. He got his professional start at Bradenton Academics, scoring 12 goals in 5 appearances before his move to Russia. Starikov also earned three caps for the United States U-23 National Team in 2012 following a training stint with the senior team the year before. He also recently trialed with Minnesota United.
The fact that a Ukrainian is trialing with the Cosmos comes as no surprise. At a press conference last Tuesday, new owner Rocco B. Commisso, answering a question about targeting the local Brooklyn market, said he told Giovanni Savarese to “get him some Ukrainians”.
It appears the Cosmos may have done just that.