New Coach of B Team at Home With the Cosmos

KEVIN

By JACK BELL

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know … or so the old saying goes.

In the case of Kevin Anderson it is what he knows and it is who he knows. The new coach of the New York Cosmos B team, which plays in the National Premier Soccer League, has been sampling Cosmos DNA for years, though it might not have been apparent at the time.

Anderson, 45, is a Long Island native who was a teammate of Cosmos Coach Giovanni Savarese back in the 1990s when they both played for the Long Island Rough Riders. They were there when the team won the USISL title in 1995.

“I played with Gio for a number of years and we always had a really great relationship,” Anderson said. “We played on the Rough Riders championship team together and then against each other in MLS [Anderson for Colorado; Savarese for New England in 1999.]

Anderson added: “He always carried himself, first and foremost, as a wonderful person who has integrity and empathy for others. He’s always been a leader who people gravitated to. He has the same values and characteristics I look for in myself. It’s no surprise that’s he’s been so successful. He’s created relationships on trust.”

That connection from the past stretches to the present. Anderson, the coach of Columbia University’s men’s soccer team since 2009, will retain that position as he works with the Cosmos B team. And perhaps it’s no coincidence that the Lions play their home games at Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium in Upper Manhattan. Commisso is the club’s new majority owner.

“Rocco’s been able to see my body of work Columbia,” Anderson said. “I think he and Gio had conversations surrounding everyone who rehired vs. those given an opportunity to join the club for the first time. As far as my decision was concerned, it is an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. With Gio and Rocco, that made it a win-win.”

Anderson and the rest of the Cosmos braintrust must quickly cobble together a B team roster ahead of the start of their NPSL season on April 29. Right now, there are no players signed, a result of the club’s tumultuous off-season that saw all players released, with Savarese scrambling to re-sign some of the guys who formed the core of a senior team that has won back-to-back titles in the North American Soccer League.

“Our first game is in 30 days, 31 actually,” Anderson said. “We need to get to work and put a team together. We’re already hard at work in discussing a handful of guys. On the outside it may look one way, but on the inside the process is different.”