Four Cosmos Called Up for Gold Cup

April 29, 2017; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Deltas forward Tommy Heinemann (9) and New York Cosmos defender Dejan Jakovic (5) jump to head the ball during their match at Kezar Stadium in Golden Gate Park.  Photo: Robert Edwards-KLC fotos.

By JAKE NUTTING

Gold Cup logoNext month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup will cost the New York Cosmos the service of four players for the rest of the North American Soccer League’s Spring Season.

Veteran center back Dejan Jakovic has been called up by Canada, while the Salvadorean trio of Irvin Herrera, Andres Florés and Richard Menjivar made their country’s final 23-man roster.

All four players depart New York this week to begin training for the tournament, which is set to run from July 7-26. They will miss remainder of New York’s Spring Season schedule. The Cosmos were eliminated from the spring title race this past weekend but have three more matches left until the brief midseason break ahead of the Fall Season.

Without Jakovic, the Cosmos will be stretched in central defense for their remaining matches. Jakovic, 31, is leading the team’s center backs with 810 minutes played. The captain Carlos Mendes, who went down with a non-contact leg injury in the team’s last home match, is the closest to Jakovic, but only has 604 minutes. On Tuesday, the Cosmos announced that Jakovic had re-signed with the club through the NASL’s Fall Season.

Jakovic and the rest of the Canadian team will begin play in their Gold Cup group stage matches on July 7 at Red Bull Arena against French Guiana, before facing off against Costa Rica and Honduras in Texas. He has played 35 times for Canada.

El Salvador’s group stage competition is far more challenging than Canada’s. The Salvadoreans are in Group C with the tournament’s defending champion Mexico and runner-up Jamaica. Curaçao, which knocked off Jamaica to claim the Caribbean Cup this past weekend, rounds out Group C. The Cosmos’ Salvadoreans are likely to face a hostile atmosphere when they open their tournament against Mexico in San Diego on July 9.