by DAVE MARTINEZ
During a media round table Tuesday morning, New York Cosmos Head Coach and Sporting Director Giovanni Savarese revealed that the club attempted to sign a pair of Generation Adidas talents from this year’s MLS SuperDraft, but fell short of naming his targets.
“There have been two players that signed Generation Adidas (deals) that we formally put offers to them,” Savarese told reporters. “Those players were in a moment of feeling out whether to go to Generation Adidas or signing with us.”
EoS has learned the unnamed players are former New York City FC Homegrown hopeful Jack Harrison and fellow Generation Adidas standout, Julian Buescher.
Harrison, 18, is a projected top two pick in this year’s draft — and a coveted player by NYCFC. The club attempted to sign Harrison prior to the draft as a Homegrown player, using his connection to NYCFC affiliate Manhattan SC to plead their case to the MLS front office. However, their claim was rejected, and despite multiple attempts to persuade the league otherwise, NYCFC fell short in their approach.
While those conversations were ongoing, the Cosmos threw their name into the ring, offering an enticing deal for Harrison to forgo the draft and join the Championship NASL side. However, the former Manchester United youth product ultimately decided to take a Generation Adidas deal with MLS instead.
Despite the hiccups in their chase, NYCFC are not done going after Harrison. Goal.com reports the club has reached out to the Chicago Fire over a potential trade in order to land the promising young English playmaker.
Meanwhile, Syracuse sophomore Julian Buescher was another Cosmos target. The former VfL Bochum and Preussen Muenster youth player was a member of the U-16 and U-18 German national teams and was named the top midfield player in the U-19 German Bundesliga in 2011-12. He earned All-ACC Second Team honors and was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team in 2014. He followed that season with an impressive 2015, appearing in 25 matches, scoring eight goals and 11 assists for the Orangemen.
While the Cosmos fell short on both attempts, Savarese is not disappointed. In fact, he believes their inclusion in conversations and competition for young talent is a victory not just for the club, but for soccer on the whole, giving young players another, credible option to begin their path through the professional soccer ranks.
“We are helping players. We are helping the growth of soccer,” Savarese said. “We are helping U.S. soccer by being another provider of believing in youth in the United States.”
Of course, this is not the first time the Cosmos have targeted SuperDraft talent. Back in 2014, New York came to a silent agreement with Jamaican midfielder, Andre Lewis, before he was drafted by the Vancouver Whitecaps. He subsequently went on loan to the MLS side for the year, whom in turn sent Lewis to the Charleston Battery. Lewis he scored four goals and four assists through 18 matches with the USL side.