Senna on his Cosmos absence – and how he nearly left the club

IMAGE, DAVE MARTINEZ, EMPIRE OF SOCCER

This weekend, Marcos Senna expects to get the starting nod for the New York Cosmos against the Tampa Bay Rowdies. The start will mark his first appearance with the club since August 15th, and just his third appearance in 11 matches this Fall Championship season.

His absence has created quite a bit of intrigue amongst Cosmos fans who have been left in the dark over their star player’s absence.

Why has he been gone? That is a complicated answer that begins with his contract extension.

Senna left the club for Brazil shortly after the Spring Championship winning season. It was a move that was planned months in advance when the star midfielder had other plans about his playing career. His original deal with the Cosmos went through June of this year. Senna had no intention to re-sign with the club. However, like his time final years at Villarreal, that path was about to change.

“Before renewing my contract, I wasn’t going to stay with the club,” reveals Senna. “I was leaving in July [but] I spoke to the club, they asked that I stay, they made me a new offer, and after speaking to my family, I decided to stay.”

In deciding to stay, Senna still had to deal with some post-retirement planning back in his native Brazil. “As I was already getting ready to go to Brazil to sign off on my homes and other personal business, I was already going to go for just one week,” he explained. “But here is where the delay happened.”

Senna filed his visa paperwork in the United States and went off, fully expecting a prompt approval on his return to New York allowing him to join his team at the start of the Fall campaign. However, a filing technicality back in the States delayed his arrival by nearly a month.

“Here in the United States they actually apologized to me because there was a tax to pay of some sort and the issue went by. When they realized, three weeks had passed,” Senna said. “I was in Brazil three weeks — almost a month. Time went by, they apologized, and now I am here.”

Missing nearly two months worth of action, the fitness level of the seemingly ageless 39-year-old midfielder became a major concern upon his return.

“It’s not the same training and playing,” Senna notes. “The match I came on in the second half against San Antonio, I found myself in a very bad physical state. I told Gio ‘listen, I always do things right on the field and I don’t like coming in and taking the place of the young players who are doing well. I prefer to be preparing a few weeks.”

So Senna benched himself and went on a rigorous training routine to return to full fitness.

“I was training two-a-days for a few weeks and it went well,” he explained. “During the day I would do cardio and physical work and in the afternoon, the sessions were mostly physical in nature. Now, I find myself in phenomenal condition. I must be around 80-90% which is good enough to get back into the game.”

Meanwhile, the Cosmos moved on without Senna, digging themselves out of a mid-year funk and going the entirety of August undefeated.

“That is a positive,” Senna said of the team’s results. “The team played well. They aren’t just their big name players — Marcos Senna, Carlos Mendes, Raul or Roversio — but the team has grown a lot and the players are the future of the club.

“I won’t be here next year and others may not be either, I don’t know, but the guys need the experience to continue to grow.”

With a string of positive results behind the club — and the consternation over his visa and fitness issues finally at an end — Senna is ready to jump into the fray once more against heritage rival, Tampa Bay Rowdies.

“I find myself ready to play,” he said. “I kept thinking that I need to get better but now I am perfectly ready to play.”

The Cosmos take on Tampa Bay at Al Lang Stadium this Saturday evening.

  • NYCsportspunk

    Class act. I see a farewell Championship Trophy in his future.

    • CiarraiCosmosfan

      Don’t jinx it! I do hope so, though.

  • OpenCupFan

    I love this guy.

  • David Carlin, Farm Animal Molester

    Pure class. He will be missed.

  • soccerfan

    He is still a fantastic player at his age .

  • Well, wasn’t one of the plans in bringing Senna over was for him to help run the Cosmos Academy, which ouf course still doesn’t exist. Does his retirement to Brazil mean the Academy is deadin the water?

    • Smith

      I thought Raul was going to rin the Academy and that Senna would be traveling and scouting for the Academy

      • slowleftarm

        Geez…even I knew it was Raul who was supposed to run this vaunted/non-existent academy. I guess Leo was too busy accomplishing so damn much and then bragging about it that he hasn’t kept up. Also, please click on Leo’s name to visit his firm’s website. He could really use the business.

        • Do you hear that? It’s the angry gurgling of a **** ant whose been pissed on.

          • slowleftarm

            You’d think such an accomplished braggart could do better but then again I am talking to a DUI lawyer so what should I expect?

            • guurrrrrrrggggggllllllleeeeeeeee.

              • slowleftarm

                Impressive, now I understand why your only clients are can’t afford to pay you.

            • I understand that Raul was going to run the academy, I thought Senna would be involved. But you are right I guess Kevin, it would be at a distance, which works for me. Now we just have to get it started.

      • Perhaps you are right. At any rate, would love to see the academy getting started. Cosmos B a successful first step, but not an academy.

  • Smith… Straight from the brilliant David Martinez

    “Even at 37-years-old, Raul carries with him name recognition and appeal that few others within the U.S. can compare. His partner, Marcos Senna, is as celebrated and accomplished a veteran athlete as there can be. Both will be vital components in the Cosmos Academy program, giving New York a pair of world renown athletes to associate with the club long term — just as they have done with Pele.”

    http://www.empireofsoccer.com/strategy-globally-domestically-30920/

    • Smith

      I thought I saw something saying that Senna wouldn’t be on-site in NY, but Raul would be. Either way, it’s good to get the Academy going.

  • Kevin

    Smith is correct. Raul will run the academy, Senna is going back home and almost be a scout for the Cosmos abroad

  • I understand that Raul was going to run the academy, I thought Senna would be involved. But you are right I guess Kevin, it would be at a distance, which works for me. Now we just have to get it started.

  • Kevin

    When does it start? Any word on that? I see NYCFC finally started theirs