While the Cosmos are obviously not done with the roster, we thought it might be interesting to discuss what we’d like to see added on the roster before the seasons starts and point out potential problem spots.
Also, we’d love to hear from YOU, Cosmos Country. Sound off in the comments. Tell us why we’re wrong or where we overlooked something.
What pieces are next? This one is easy for me. Depth on the back and front lines.
The keeper situation is locked in with Maurer being our number 1 and backed up by Zobeck and Holt.
The back line is in need of depth, though. I love our starting back line in Ayoze, Mendes, Roversio and Freeman but we have to be honest about a few things.
First, Roversio has not yet shown he can be trusted to be fit throughout the course of an NASL season. When healthy he is, by far, one of the better CBs in the league, but he just has not proven himself to be reliable in the health department.
The other factor that sooner or later is going to come into play, and this is not a knock on the guy, but Carlos Mendes is 35 years old. While he was nothing short of remarkable last season, you have to wonder if sooner or later he is going to lose a step like all defenders do.
So with a health concern and an older star in the back line we need another CB or maybe two for support. We know Freeman can slot into a central role if needed, so it is nice to have that flexibility and Diosa, at times, has played the fullback role. Luckily, the team is versatile but I still think another body is needed back there.
Up front, we have three strikers listed but one of them is the aforementioned Diosa. The others are Lucky Mkosana and new signing Jairo Arrieta. Now, I am excited to see what Arrieta brings, but I still think we need one more option up front to support us in case of injuries and hopefully a deep Open Cup run.
The midfield right now is ready to go for the season and will be a lot of fun to watch.
Goalkeeping is set. Jimmy Maurer, Gold Gloves contender two years running, backed up by Zobeck and Holt. Next.
The back line gets a little interesting. Ayoze is solid on the left, no question about it and, in a pinch, David Diosa has proven he can slot in when necessary. Hunter Freeman performed well for most of last year, although I had questions at moments. Jimmy Mulligan can fill in in a pinch, but this might not always be ideal. Would definitely like to see another right back option to free Jimmy back to the midfield.
The real issue comes at center back. Roversio’s knee is a serious question and he’s been hit by injuries pretty hard. And I agree with Nick that Carlos Mendes’s outstanding form won’t last forever. After those two, you’re talking about throwing Freeman in as a patch job or the depth chart goes to Alexis Velela, who has not had to play at this level yet. Some stuff to worry about here.
Our defensive mids are solid. Danny Szetela, Adam Moffat, and it appears Michael Lahoud could find a spot here. Eric Calvillo may be developed here over time and Ruben Bover did pretty well in this role, too.
The attacking mids are mostly settled, but I’d disagree that we are fully ready. The central role(s) should be properly serviced by Juan Arango and maybe Andres Flores. The left side is stacked. Seba Guenzatti and Ruben Bover can play this side, as can David Diosa. But the right side looks unfinished. Yohandry Orozco seems to be a good pickup on that side, but after him, I struggle to find a strong contender for that side after him, something that could hurt us badly if we don’t have a replacement ready.
I agree with Nick that we need some more help on the forward line. Diosa will struggle against some teams if up front alone. Lucky Mkosana struggled to score consistently and eventually lost his spot. I’m curious to see what my fellow Tico Jairo Arrieta will do in the league, and maybe we could even see a formation that leads to him being paired with Lucky, but I’d really like to see another forward soon.
The club doesn’t seem to be done signing players yet, but there are spots of concern that should be addressed.