Cosmos’ Mendes to Retire at End of Season


Cosmos logoLongtime New York Cosmos captain and Long Island native Carlos Mendes has announced that this season will be his last as a player. Mendes, 36, plans to retire once the Cosmos finish their six remaining regular-season matches and any potential postseason action.

“I have been very fortunate to have enjoyed a 15-year career playing professional soccer, but after much thought and consideration, I have come to the decision that I will be retiring after this 2017 season,” said Mendes. “My primary focus right now is to continue my work on the field with my teammates to try and help the club win another Championship.”

Since joining the Cosmos as the first signing of the Modern Era ahead of the 2013 reboot season, Mendes has been the anchor of the back line through 107 North American Soccer League appearances and three title-winning seasons. The veteran has been considered one of the top center backs in the league, earning inclusion on the NASL Best XI in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Before signing with the Cosmos at the end of 2012, Mendes spent six seasons as a mainstay with the New York MetroStars/Red Bulls in Major League Soccer. With 146 appearances under his belt, Mendes ranks second in matches played for the MetroStars/Red Bulls.

After a year in Ohio with the Columbus Crew, Mendes moved back to his home to join the rebooted Cosmos. Mendes became the first player to surpass 100 appearances for the Modern Era Cosmos last season as he guided the team to the Fall Season championship and its third Soccer Bowl trophy.

“Carlos was not only the first player the Cosmos signed back in 2013, but also our first Captain and one of our most storied leaders,” said Cosmos Coach and Sporting Director Giovanni Savarese. “He has helped the club accomplish many championships and will forever remain in the hearts and minds of Cosmos players and fans the world.”

Sunday’s match at MCU Park against Puerto Rico FC is one of two remaining home matches for the Cosmos. At this point, hosting a postseason match looks unlikely for the Cosmos. They are far down the Fall Season table and still need to climb their way back into the top four of the Combined Season standings to extend their run past the regular season.