Carlos Mendes, the Cosmos’ first signing and captain, became the first player in the Modern Era to reach 100 appearances for the club.
Carlos was able to celebrate the achievement at home, as the Cosmos took on FC Edmonton.And by home, you could almost say his backyard, as the Mineola native celebrated with family and friends who made a very short trip to witness the milestone.
Head coach Giovanni Savarese recently told TICC just how important Mendes was to the club, likening him to a foundation.
“In a club, when you’re trying to build a new club, a new culture, you need players like Carlos Mendes to build the platform upon which the club will stand,” said Savarese. “Carlos has been that player, with others, that have, from the beginning, built the culture of this club. They understand the past of the club, but they also want to build a new future as they have so far.”Savarese also made a notable comparison to the Mendes signing.
“Interesting, that in the past, the first signing of the New York Cosmos was Werner Roth. He was a defender and a number four, if I remember correctly, so it’s like history is repeating itself.”
The man who relies the most on Mendes’ play, goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer, also had kind words about the captain to share with us.
“Carlos has done a great job on and off the field, being our captain, being our leader,” he stated. “On the field, really leading by example, doing a great job of putting the work in and showing everyone the kind of quality, the kind of standards that we all hold ourselves to in the club. Off the field as well, being a local guy, getting out in the community. All sorts of things, getting out and helping to promote the club and keeping connected and involved with the community around us.”The other half of an efficient partnership, most fans only get to see the relationship between Mendes and left full back Ayoze on the field. But Ayoze went beyond that to share the more personal side of their relationship when asked about his fondest memory of Mendes.
“Well the truth is, I’ve got many,” shared the Spaniard. “We know the great player he is, but personally I have a great appreciation and a lot of affection for him. Three and a half years where we’ve had many experiences together. The first two and a half years, we were roommates and we had a good time, we laughed, I even dared to sing and he said when we retired, we were going to start a band.”
“In general, it’s all been so positive. He’s shown me much and helped me much with adapting to this country and the language and honestly I’m proud of all the things we’ve done together.”David Ochieng, who has partnered at center defense with Mendes often this season shared a thought that was simple but elicited plenty of smiles at post-game.
“For me, he’s the coolest guy around,” was his earnest first thought as he spoke about coming from a foreign country as a young defender. “Every time, he’s ready to give you advice, and in the game too, he’s always ready to help me out.”
“He has meant a lot to me and seeing him having his 100th game, I’m really happy for him.”The fans got into it too, sporting shirts in show of support and unveiling a Mendes tifo for the match.
It was even a good night for TICC as we got nearly the whole team at the match. Certainly a great night for all who support the boys in green.