Cosmos Sign Croatian Int’l Niko Kranjčar for Spring Season

IMAGE, NY COSMOS

by JAKE NUTTING

The New York Cosmos finally put pen to paper with Premier League veteran Niko Kranjčar months after the attacking midfielder joined the club as a training guest for the preseason.

Kranjčar, 31, featured in a few of New York’s preseason matches in California and notched a goal in the tune up match against Long Island University, but he sat out the most recent trip to Florida. Kranjčar’s deal only runs through the NASL’s 10-game Spring Season, though the two sides have left open the possibility of him signing on for the Fall Season as well.

“I’ve enjoyed my time training with the Cosmos, working with these players and coaches has been a great experience,” said Kranjčar. “I think the style of play here suits me well, and I’m excited to officially represent the club on the field this season.”

The Croatian international has suited up many times for his country since debuting in 2004. In 81 caps, Kranjčar has tallied 16 goals and performed at a high level for Croatia in a number of prestigious competitions, including the 2006 World Cup and 2008 Euro Cup. Kranjčar has not been called up by Croatia since 2013 after he was forced out of the 2014 World Cup due to a hamstring injury.

His showing at the 2006 World Cup in particular caught the eye of clubs in England and he was able to capitalize on the interest by signing with Portsmouth FC after years of success in the Croatian domestic league. In his second season with Portsmouth, Kranjčar played an important part in the club capturing the FA Cup.

“Niko is not only a world class player, but also a fantastic human being,” said Cosmos Head Coach Giovanni Savarese. “He has elite vision and technical ability with the ball at his feet, and we’re confident he can bring creativity to our approach in the attacking half of the field.”

Cosmos COO Erik Stover had similar things to say about the former Spurs star. “Niko did a great job training with us,” he said. “He is clearly a world class player, a player that brings the qualities a player like Marcos Senna had for us both on and off the field — not just a world class player, but a world class person.

“When we had the opportunity to sign him, we certainly did what we could to make that happen.”

After accumulating 82 appearances and 12 goals for Portsmouth through four seasons, Kranjčar followed his manager Harry Redknapp to Tottenham Hotspur, where he made 49 league appearances and scored 11 goals in three years. He then transferred to Dynamo Kyiv in Ukraine in 2012, but moved back to England the following year with a loan to Queens Park Rangers. Kranjčar helped Queens Park earn promotion to the Premier League in his first season and remained on for a second season last year.

Signing Kranjčar took some opportunistic roster maneuvers from the Cosmos. Injury issues have once again sidelined centerback Roversio for an indefinite amount of time, so the club has added him its injured reserves list. This shift has opened up one of the valuable international roster spots, thus providing a window for Kranjčar to slide onto the 2016 roster in an official capacity.

 

  • Larry\’s A Simpleton

    according to the official nasl web site kranjcar demanded to be paid in cash.

    • What Larry Really Meant

      I am ashamed. This guy is still a good player while Lampard never plays & Pirlo has lung cancer. My team spends a lot of money & still stinks. The highlight of our games is when my buddies make me eat raw chicken.

      • slowleftarm

        If he’s still a good player why has he been doing nothing for the past ten months? Fat Frank is a joke but I bet he is still better than this guy.

        The part about the raw chicken is probably accurate though.

      • Larry\’s A Simpleton

        could be true, but unlike f.cosmos personel, lampard and pirlo have no problems cashing their checks.

        Hell, i even saw today Raul “take the money and run” Blanco was over in the mls office looking for work. He bailed because he wasnt getting paid by stover.

        you guys are really slipping on that go fund me page for the f.cosmos!

  • Anthony

    I see the butt buddies slowleftarm and Larry got their daily Cosmos news alerts and rushed here to add their worthless 2 cents.

    • William

      Agreed two losers pathetic pieces of crap.

  • Anthony

    Niko is a solid NASL signing, a guys with caps with the Croatian national team (better than USA) and who has played in many big matches, and is still just 31.

    • slowleftarm

      I don’t think Croatia is better than the US although they’re probably comparable. In any event, this guy hasn’t played for them in a few years. If he was still playing for Croatia, he would have had offers from teams in Europe and wouldn’t have spent the last ten months sitting on his couch.

      Still, that may constitute a “solid NASL signing”

      • William

        Why do u care ? what do we need your seal of approval u nobody.

        • slowleftarm

          As usual, no substantive response. Instead, pure personal attacks. Cosmos fanboys don’t like the message so they attack the messenger.

          • William

            what are u a baby ? I asked you why do u care ? where is the attack ? such a child . I feel like I am talking to a 8 y/o little boy.

      • Not Davor Suker

        Sorry just stopped laughing. A team with Modric, Rakitic, Pjanic and Mandzukic is on par with whoever the USMNT brings out? Anyone on the USMNT that start for Barca? Or Real Madrid? LOL.

        • slowleftarm

          They have better individual players but Croatia hasn’t made if out of the group stage of the world cup since 1998 (US has done it 3 times since then) and their Euros record isn’t much better.

          So you can LOL all you like but if Croatia’s overall player pool is that much better it sure doesn’t show in the results.

  • Not Davor Suker

    A motivated Kranjcar is by far the best player in the NASL. Whether he’s motivated is entirely another story.

    • slowleftarm

      Maybe but if a guy who was a decent player (though not a star by any means) in his day but now is 31 and hasn’t left his couch in ten months is the best player in the league – that doesn’t say much good about the league.

      • slowfrontallobe

        Have you seen him play recently or are you just vomiting bile as usual?

      • slowlefttroll

        Why talk about NASL? Fat Frank doesn’t even get off the couch for 6 million. Pirlo at least stands up, and he only gets 2 million. Retirement league indeed.

        • slowleftarm

          Have a seen this dude play? Sure, back when he used to play in a league that’s on TV (i.e. not NASL).

          • slowfrontallobe

            So you don’t know what he’s like now. Thanks for confirming.

  • Vlad

    This is a great signing. Looking forward to seeing the boys in green on opening day!!!

  • Kevin

    I agree, it’s a good signing… as much as it kills me this has to be it for Roversio…he’s an excellent defender but he can’t stay on the field