Mineola native Carlos Mendes has been joined by long time Real Salt Lake backup keeper Kyle Reynish and the familiar face of Stefan Dimitrov composing the initial core of the team’s budding lineup. While still a long way from the club’s desire to acquire “8-10” players during the winter months, it is a starting point for the team to launch from.
While this trio awaits reinforcements, the Cosmos are tasked with keeping them fit leading up to the team’s first preseason training camp in nearly 30 years.
Loans were expected to be one of the main ways to achieve that end, but the task has proved to be a difficult one.
“We are looking at the possibility to loan players,” Head Coach Giovanni Savarese told EoS, “but one thing we want to make sure is that we want to protect our players, insurance wise, and all the things like that. We have a few opportunities for the players to send them to different places but we have to make sure our guys are well protected in order for them to be prepared for when they come back.
“For now, we have not found the right solution for them that make sense for them.”
With no real avenue to ply their trade, Savarese and his staff have taken on unorthodox methods of training to keep everyone up to speed. “The guys that are already signed, Carlos (Mendes) is practicing every day. He is getting fit,” he said. “Right now, we just have a group that gets together and practices a few days a week. We will do it a little more organized while we are awaiting our preseason which will start in May, beginning in June.”
The training numbers should increase by then. The Cosmos will host the first of a series of Invite-Only player combines leading up to the date. The signing of Dimitrov in particular was indicative of what the team may be looking for. The Bulgarian footballer emigrated with his family to Queens when he was a teenager. Since then, he has become a fixture of the local New York soccer scene, playing for popular amateur sides like the New York Pancyprian Freedoms and the Brooklyn Italians.
Though they will continue to seek players with NASL and MLS experience where possible, Savarese says they are not averse to dipping into the local market as well.
“I think we showed in a big way with bringing Dimitrov what we are all about,” he said. “We are definitely investing into bringing New York players.”
While that task continues, the search for training does as well.
“We just want to start feeding the squad right now,” Savarese explained, “and when we start getting more players, we will have to see who is going to be loaned, who’s not and the group that might be here is going to start training as we all start shaping up – our coaching staff as well.”