Cosmos Hope Arango Arrives This Week

Cosmos logoPolitical unrest and uncertainty in Venezuela have kept Juan Arango from rejoining the New York Cosmos since his signing was announced  in late July, a few days before the start of the North American Soccer League’s Fall Season. The Cosmos are optimistic that the protracted wait will come to an end and Arango will be back in New York with his visa in hand this week.

“We know in Venezuela the situation is complicated and we never expected it would take so long,” Cosmos Coach Giovanni Savarese said. “We thought he would be here at the latest on Tuesday but, one after the other, things kept happening that we’ve never experienced before. We think that he should be able to get his visa on Tuesday. At that point he should be able to arrive. Usually when you get the International Transfer Certificate (ITC), you get that after [the player arrives] and you have to wait for it while the player is waiting to play. The ITC’s been here a long time waiting for Arango to be able to arrive.”

Venezuela has been in a constitutional crisis since March when the country’s Supreme Court attempted to dissolve the National Assembly, which was controlled by opponents of President Nicolás Maduro. That decision was reversed in April, but unrest continued to mount and Maduro called for a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution after a month of deadly protests. A vote approving the constituent assembly was held only a few days after Arango’s signing was announced. Since then he has been in limbo, waiting for to receive his paperwork to leave the country and come to New York.

Arango, 37, left the Cosmos in the off-season to return home after leading the Cosmos to their third NASL title of the league’s Modern Era and earning the MVP award with 15 goals and 7 assists. In Venezuela, he re-signed with his first professional team, Zulia FC, where he scored 4 goals and recorded 5 assists in 21 league appearances and tallied 2 goals and an assist in Copa Libertadores action.

Once he arrives in New York, Arango will need to catch up to the fitness level of his teammates. The veteran has not played in a competitive match for a couple months.

“He’s working. It’s never the same as when you practice with the team, but he’s working by himself. He’s trying to stay fit and come here in the best shape that he can,” Savarese said.

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