Cosmos Notebook: Forward Added to Short-Handed Squad

FCE@NYC0377

By JAKE NUTTING

Cosmos logoThe New York Cosmos said that a reinforcement at forward is on the way. Pablo Vranjicán recently joined the the team for its exhibition game in Saudi Arabia.

Vranjicán, an Argentine, is still waiting for his U.S. visa and international clearances before he can suit up for the Cosmos in a North American Soccer League match.

New York (4-2-4, 16 points) needs help up front ahead of Saturday’s rematch with North Carolina FC (4-4-2, 14). Irvin Herrera‘s goal in Wednesday’s 4-2 loss to FC Edmonton was the only score by one of the team’s forwards. Eugene Starikov has been unable to earn a regular starting spot, while Amauri has been dealing with personal issues for the past month, according to the Cosmos.

Vranjicán, 31, most recently scored four goals in nine appearances for Pahang FA in the Malaysian Super League, but his career has included more than a half-dozen stints at teams in South America and Europe.

From 2006 to 2011, Vranjicán was a productive player out on loan from Newell’s Old Boys — playing for C.S.D Rangers and Universidad Católica in Chile’s top league. While at Universidad, he made seven appearances in the 2010 Copa Libertadores and helped the team claim the league title that year.

Vranjicán spent the 2013-14 season in Greece, recording 16 goals at AEK Kouklia. After Greece, he returned to Chile and signed with Deportes La Serena and then Curicó Unido for a single season each. With Curicó Unido, he scored 15 goals in league play and four more in the 2015 Copa Chile.

A Thin Roster

Not only did Wednesday’s loss to the Eddies strike a blow to the Cosmos’ chances of catching Miami FC (6-1-3, 21) in the Spring Season title race, it did significant damage to their chances of victory on Saturday.

Center back Darius Barnes and midfielder Juan Guerra will both miss the match after picking up red cards against the Eddies. Their absences are in addition to the four players away on international duty: defenders Dejan Jakovic and David Ochieng;, and midfielders Irvin Herrera and Richard Menjivar.

“It’s an opportunity for somebody else to shine,” Savarese said. “We’ve never been a club that looks at what we don’t have, but what we have. The guys that are going to be there I’m sure are going to do a fantastic job.”

The Cosmos won, 1-0, at North Carolina last Sunday.