Cosmos Notes: Yasmani Duk Ruled Out, Savarese Content with Roster, more

New York Cosmos - Yasmani Duk


It’s been over a month since Yasmani Duk appeared in a match for the New York Cosmos, and that streak will continue this week as the forward has been ruled out for the team’s trip to Miami FC.

Duk departed Cosmos camp for the final weeks of spring to take part in the Copa America with the Bolivian national team, but his absence has been extended by a broken nose suffered during the competition.

“He had surgery already, but it’s still very tender and we don’t want to jeopardize anything,” Savarese cautioned. “Therefore that’s why we are being precautious and making sure he doesn’t have that much contact. He’s practicing regularly, but we’re trying to avoid the contact as of now.”

Savarese also added that he’s hopeful Duk can return to full contact training next week.

Fortunately for New York, Duk’s knock is the only one the team is carrying into the weekend. Center back Roversio is fit and available for selection following his pulled hamstring in the team’s Fifth Round exit in the U.S. Open Cup last week.

“The only injury we have is Yasmani,” he said. “More than an injury, it’s a prevention because he’s not ready yet to step in and play fully. For me, that’s the only thing we have to improve. Besides him everyone else is in very good shape and ready to play. We’re in a much better situation right now.”

Tough Decisions

Savarese’s turn to the bench players for the Fall Season opener paid off with a win. Now with players like David Ochieng and Lucky Mkosana seizing their first shot at a league start this year in positions that have been weak spots, Savarese is left with the welcome headache of tough choices when it comes to roster selection.

“No doubt it’s going to be more difficult because now they are showing they can do a good job as well, if they have the opportunity to play they can do well. Now it’s a bit more difficult for me to make my selections. That’s a spot a coach wants to be in, to have that difficult situation because everybody is doing well. We don’t want to see just 11 players doing well and that’s it. It has to be an entire roster fighting, trying to get playing time. That’s what the guys are doing right now, pushing each other trying to get minutes and that’s very important.”

Standing Pat

Despite losing Michael Lahoud, Gabriel Farfan and the dynamic presence of attacking midfielder Niko Kranjčar from their roster, the Cosmos are in no hurry to add talent. Savarese admits the team continues to monitor for possible players to bring in, but also that they’re content with the quality of the current crop of players.

“There might be the possibility to bring other players,” he acknowledged. “We’re analyzing that, but to be honest with you if we don’t bring anybody else, I’m very content with the group we have. I think we have an extraordinary group and anybody can contribute. We’ll see if we will be able to bring some other players. Right now, as I said, we’re looking for more.

“We haven’t been that active because we feel we have a good roster. Even though we have some players that left us these past months, I still feel that we are in a very good situation. Right now we’re very content with what we have and we keep on moving forward.”

No Ill Will Toward Miami

The abrupt recall of Michael Lahoud from his loan by the Philadelphia Union after a substantial financial offer for his rights from Miami FC left the Cosmos with the unfamiliar feeling of being on the losing end of an NASL transfer. With that said, Savarese doesn’t believe there is any lingering bitterness over the move and the Cosmos are approaching this week’s match in Miami like any other week.

“No animosity whatsoever in relation to Lahoud. Lahoud was good to us, we wish we could have kept him. Unfortunately the situation was the way it was, but this is what happens in soccer on a constant basis and we have to continue to work. For me, the way I look at it, it opens possibilities for other players to be able to step in and do the job. That’s the good thing about soccer. Every single time something happens, it’s an opportunity for another player to be able to gain and the team continues always.”

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