New York Cosmos decline options on Jemal Johnson, Jimmy Nealis, Steven Diaz


With Raul and Lucky Mkosana ready to enter the fray, the New York Cosmos have begun trimming fat for the 2015 campaign.

Speedy winger Jemal Johnson headlines the first round of roster cuts, joining seldom used backups, goalkeeper Steven Diaz and defender Jimmy Nielis, amongst the departed.

Johnson, 29, joined the Cosmos in June of 2013, making a single appearance for the club during their Fall Championship winning season.  The Patterson, New Jersey native and former Fort Lauderdale Strikers’ star came to the club carrying an injury; a fact the Cosmos were willing to overlook in hopes that the former Milton Keynes Dons player recovered his form.
That did not come to pass.  A step slower than his younger years, Johnson struggled to maintain his spot on the team’s wing, often battling for minutes on a week-to-week basis.  In his 19 appearances this season, he managed a single goal and just two assists.

Nealis, 23, and Diaz, 28, fell short in their depth roles with Nealis achieving all of three starts since last season, while Diaz never cracked the starting lineup as the club’s third keeper.

The Cosmos, whose depth was tested in the Fall season, are looking to upgrade their bench options to avoid the kind of tumult an injury-laden season like 2014 has dealt.  New York is in the throes of vetting their roster and entertaining the addition of new talent for the coming season.


  • jspech

    everything we do, needs to be about reaching CCL, period.