Cosmos B Announce First Signings

IMAGE, NICK EILERSON/WASHINGTON POST

By JAKE NUTTING

imgres-1The first batch of signings for the Cosmos B team include returning players and new faces ahead of the start of National Premier Soccer League season.

Jesús Álvarez, Héctor Guerrero, Kevin Tenjo, Julian Sthaler, Sebastian Capozucchi and Matias Ruiz have all rejoined the Cosmos’ reserve squad. The newcomers include Bljedi Bardic, Lucas Mendes, José Nájera, Lucas Coutinho, Christian Thierjung and Rhys Williams.

“Cosmos B is an integral part of the club’s player development model,” technical director Luke Sassano said. “As in years past, Cosmos B will operate as an extended arm of the first team’s scouting and evaluation platform. We are excited about the potential in this group.”

Mendes, 19, was a standout at Washington-Lee High School, where he led the team to a state title and claimed 2016’s National Gatorade Player of the Year Award and Virginia High School State Player of the Year Award by tallying 21 goals and 12 assists. The attacking midfielder was also played for three years at D.C. United’s academy. He joins Cosmos B after spending one season at the University of Virginia.

Bardic, 25, is a unique addition to the reserve squad. The striker from Albania was with Puerto Rico of the North American Soccer League last year and scored a goal for the team. He also has experience in the NPSL, having played four seasons with the Clarkstown Eagles. Nájera, 29, is another attacker with professional experience and has been capped by his native Colombia. He has spent time at teams in Colombia, Venezuala and Peru.

The rest of the new signings are college products. Williams, 21, is a right back who graduated from Columbia University. Thierjung, 22, was selected by the San Jose Earthquakes in the MLS draft after recording 27 goals and 7 assists at the University of California. Coutinho, 23, is a Palm Beach Atlantic University graduate.

“We are still putting the final touches on this group,” Cosmos B Coach Kevin Anderson said. “We have some work ahead of us to uphold the standards of this storied franchise. So far, we are heading in the right direction.”

Cosmos B’s season opens on April 29 with a game at Boston City FC.