In one year with the Cosmos, he’s become their highest scorer, leaving behind the record set by Marcos Senna across three seasons. He’s taken several honors across the year, including the Emirates Player of the Year award and recently, the NASL Golden Ball.
TICC had a chance to discuss the course of the season and future plans with the Venezuelan player shortly after he received the Emirates trophy this week. He seems very satisfied, not just with his own accomplishments, but the efforts of his teammates across the year.
“I’m very happy. Not just to be the player of the year, but also to help the team, and to reach the Final. This Sunday, we have an important match. We’ve played all season and that’s more deserving of us being content. What I and all my teammates have done has helped us reach this Final.”“It’s been a great year. We showed it in the Spring Season which we just lost on a goal differential. We’ve played at a very high level. Like I said, we missed out on the Spring by a difference of goals, but we took the Fall by ten points. That means we’ve played a good season. The semifinal got a little tricky, but we were able to get ourselves back together and now we have a difficult final with Indy who’ve played at a consistent level all season.”
Arango was also clear on his thoughts on the quality of Final opponent Indy Eleven, who beat the Cosmos twice in 2016. The Cosmos won their lone home game handily in the course of an undefeated season at home. After such a run, the change in venue from Shuart Stadium to Belson might be of some concern to some, but the midfielder is not one of those people, nothing that everything goes out the window in a title match.
“We know we’re unbeaten at home but that means nothing in a final. In a final, anything can happen. So, we have to keep doing what we’re doing at home and show that in the Final and the team has to execute things the best they can to attain another Championship. We are aware that Indy has also had a great season and are a great opponent, but in the Final, either of the clubs can win.”
“They play at a very good level and have very good players. Home or away, they’ve made things difficult for us and it’s going to be a heavily battled, very difficult Final.”The conversation also covered the subject of his future, either with the Cosmos or abroad. Prior to playing for New York, Arango had shared a desire to return and play his final years in Venezuela before retiring from the game. While he just had a banner year in the NASL, the end of the season surely has the 36-year-old contemplating if his future lies with the Cosmos, in Venezuela, or elsewhere.
“Well, the season’s not over and we’ll wait until it’s over. My agent needs to sit down with the club and we have to look over any offers that are there. I still don’t know. For now, I’m focused on the Final and after Sunday we’ll look to the future.”
The loss of Arango would be a blow to the Cosmos but, for the time being, it takes a backseat to Sunday.
Afterwards, though, it’s another question for the club to answer.