Cosmos Midfielder Leo Fernandes Wins NASL Young Player of the Year

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by JAKE NUTTING

New York Cosmos midfielder Leo Fernandes has nabbed the NASL Young Player of the Year award after a stellar debut season with the club in which he tallied eight goals and three assists.

“It’s an honor to be named Young Player of the Year,” said Fernandes. “Every time I step on the field for training or for a game, I give 110 percent and this award just lets me know that I’m on the right track. I’d like to thank all of my teammates and my family for helping me achieve this honor.

The award, voted on by both media and fans this year, is given to the most outstanding player aged 23 or under. The 23-yeard-old attacking midfielder got his first start in the New York’s Spring Season opener, a match in which he scored the lone goal to help start off the club’s outstanding season with a win. With Fernandes as a regular contributor, the Cosmos cruised to an undefeated spring title and secured the top spot in the combined standings on the final day of the season.

Fernandes, who grew up on Long Island where the Cosmos currently call home, is on loan this year from the Philadelphia Union in MLS. Head Coach Gio Savarese told EoS last week ahead of the team’s 2-1 semifinal victory over the Fort Lauderdale Strikers that the Cosmos would like to bring Fernandes back for another season if they can work out a deal in the offseason.

“Leo is a great team player both on and off the pitch,” said Savarese. “In the short time he has been here, he has made a real impact for the Cosmos. He is a talented young player and he has the potential to have a fantastic career.”

The youngster will have one more shot to prove his worth on the field as the Cosmos host the Fall Season champion Ottawa Fury FC on Sunday in the NASL championship final.

  • Gerry Cooney

    About as prestigious as the trophy my 8 year son won playing soccer in Bergen county.

    • Resguard

      Whoa… Whoa… your son plays for Bergen county, dude your son is elite top tier!

    • trollleftarm

      Maybe you took a few too many to the head.

  • Kevin

    Wow u can’t even give a guy credit for working hard.. that’s pathetic

    • OpenCupFan

      Bots have no soul, well documented.

      • William

        For sure.

    • trollleftarm

      And since he’s so bad I’m sure Philly will let him go for nothing. Another MLS reject I guess slowleftjackass would say?

      We’ll be happy to keep him!

      • slowleftarm

        Yes, at this point this guy is an MLS reject. He couldn’t cut it at that level so they loaned him out to a lower division side. It’s not uncommon for top flight teams to loan players out to lower division teams to get playing time and then recall them. Maybe Philly thinks he can help next year. He sure won’t dominate MLS like he did NASL though because it’s a much higher level.

        • William

          actually you are just a plain reject hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaa

        • trollleftarm

          No it isn’t. Ask Mike Grella.

  • Justin

    Despite being a NYRB fan, I will admit that he is a nice young player and had a great season.

    • Slow Left Arm

      NO!

      You must drink the MLS kool aid!

      He is an MLS reject!

      MLS is the greatest league in the world!

  • Sammy the Red Bull

    Congrats to Leo! It’s good to see a local kid doing well in pro soccer, regardless of the team. Same with Mike Grella.

    • William

      I agree completely.

  • johnny99

    I’ve always liked him and wish that somehow RBNY could pick him up. Glad that he’s doing well with the Cosmos.

    For anyone who actually watches the Cosmos, who’s better, Leo or Szetela?

    • William

      They are 2 different types of players. Leo could play the midfield or striker he has excellent speed, great scoring instincts a nose for the ball – he can score and create. Sztela is a ball winner controlling the tempo and can create some in the midfield he also brings a physicality and presence.

    • Smith

      Different types of players. Leo plays wide and is attack focused. Danny is more central and defensive. Both have played well.

  • William

    Leo is a very good player very active in the box with excellent instincts and works well off the ball and with his teammates. He has been invaluable this year and an incredibly nice guy to the fans – the Cosmos luv him and are lucky to have him.

  • Kevin

    So slowleft according to your argument where does your boy Connor Lade stand. He was a Red Bull loaned out to the Cosmos, was average in the time he was here (though I would have liked to have seen more of him with us). He goes back up to RB and isnt really doing much better. in fact some games towards the end he had some tough outings. Where does he stand in your assessment since you’re harsh on Fernandes whose parent team is a complete mess to begin with

    • William

      great point Kevin Leo is a very good player definitely quality. Slow knows nothing about what makes a player perform thus nothing about the mental side of any sport. The relationship a coach has with its players and how that can effect their performance and confidence is the reason. Gio knew of him, Gio coached him, Gio believed in him, Gio tried to bring him in before the 2013 MLS draft thus the relationship is established the player feels this from the coach Leo relaxes and performs very very well. Period.

    • slowleftarm

      I’ve never seen Lade as an MLS quality player. He filled in at RB (had some good games and some bad) for Duvall after that hack minor league player broke his leg but now he’s been replaced at that spot by Zizzo. Basically I think he’s a squad player in MLS – he can slide in from time to time and do a job but he’s not someone you want starting.

      I’m not harsh on Fernandes – he is what he is. Maybe that isn’t an MLS level player or maybe he improves to the point the he is at that level. However, it’s sill to pretend the level of play he’s at doesn’t matter like Leo does. Maybe Gio did a better job coaching him but the difference in his performance can’t be down to that alone.

      • William

        that’s sports noone can tell how much the increased performance by a player or team can improve based on a coach but it can be significant. A different coach, scheme, system with the right players to fit into what the coach is trying to accomplish is a win win for everyone as it is with Leo.

        • slowleftarm

          Yes no doubt better coaching can play a role and we can’t say for sure how much of a role it played here (if any). It seems silly though to overlook the fact he is playing at a lower level though when evaluating his performance.

          • William

            I knew u would twist it to the negative so predictable – he is very good in the NASL. Why don’t u go play in traffic ? huh ? u are a useless POS.

            • slowleftarm

              That’s the typical level of discourse I expect from you. Ironic that you’d complain about me being negative.

              • William

                not really I think you are completely delusional. Yes negative as it relates to you yes cause that’s what you deserve. End of Story.

              • trollleftarm

                Ironic? You are the biggest tool on here.

  • Kevin

    And I agree Leo and Danny are very different players cant compare at all. Leo is very finesse and Danny is the enforcer, leads the team in yellow cards. They just play different roles on that team.