New York Cosmos sign USMNT U-17 International Alexis Velela

Alexis Velela Cosmos

The New York Cosmos youth movement continues.

On the week of Haji Wright’s first professional start with the club, the Cosmos have dipped back into the U.S. Men’s National Team youth pool, signing versatile U-17 youth international Alexis Velela.

“I’m very happy about joining the New York Cosmos,” said Velela in a club statement. “I spent a week with the team on trial last month and felt really comfortable with the environment. I feel this is where I can continue to develop as a player.

“Being able to train with world-class stars such as Raúl and Senna will definitely help me to become a complete soccer player.”

Velela, 17, is a San Diego, California native who is listed as a defender by the U.S. prospect focused TopDrawerSoccer.com. However, a Cosmos press release suggests the San Diego Surf product can play across the backline and central midfield. He started every match for the U.S. U-17 team in the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship and also previously appeared in tournaments such as the 2013 Delle Nazioni in Italy and Copa Mexico de Naciones in Mexico.

“Alexis is an exciting prospect with great potential,” said Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese. “He is a young player with strong technical qualities and is capable of playing in multiple positions. We are delighted to have signed him.”

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  • OpenCupFan

    No one in mls must have wanted to sign this guy?

    • slowleftarm

      Maybe not. Most 16-17 year olds aren’t ready for top flight soccer. That’s why around the world guys often begin their careers in lower divisions, just like Mr. Velala is apparently doing.

      • OpenCupFan

        Keep changing the narrative, the real world is passing you by.

      • Luis

        “Most 16-17 year olds aren’t ready for top flight soccer” LOL nice try you troll

      • jimbo

        You know the USMNT coach has encouraged the best to go overseas?

        He obviously thinks they should play in the minor leagues, because only MLS is MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER!

  • JORGE

    He may be not that good if no MLS Team wanted to sign him

    • OpenCupFan

      Clearly, you got it all figured out.

  • no name

    He is old enough to debut at any league in the world, except MLS… MLS requires players to be over 30 yrs of age to debut.

    • slowleftarm

      Nah. He’s old enough to play in MLS. Just not good enough.

      • OpenCupFan

        Your ignorance is depressing for anyone who loves humanity.

      • trollleftarm

        That’s the way MLS develops U.S. talent? Heckuvva job Donny!

      • Luis

        Shut up you fat pig

      • Anonymous

        You guys are all haters, you havent seen him play yet. Ans for your information he is really good

  • Esteban

    So is this going to be a first team player? Or a cosmos B player, similar to the Haji Wright situation?

    • trollleftarm

      They move up and down. Haji just started for the Cosmos. I think the B team season is over (they just won the NPSL championship).

  • Anthony

    I assume this is similar to the Haji Wright signing in that this is a young player biding his time before he turns 18 and can go sign abroad and does not want to be stuck in a 2+2 year MLS contract or otherwise affiliated with an MLS academy in case things go south.

    Because even as a Cosmos fan, there is no reason to sign with the Cosmos and just play NPSL level soccer on their reserve side when you can train in a pro academy in MLS and be sent to USL. This strikes me as a pure business decsion by all parties (like Wright) and I am sure this means when the “transfer” comes the Cosmos will rake a small profit on it.

    • Anonymous

      That’s how professional soccer in this country should be run, but sadly MLS doesn’t understand how much profit can be made off of player development.

    • trollleftarm

      Note that Wright just started on the first team, and trains with Raul. Probably compares favorably to an MLS academy, and not just killing time to his next birthday.