The New York Cosmos announced the signing of strikers Peri Marosevic and Guatemalan international Henry Lopez Friday morning.
In the case of Marosevic, a former MLS Generation Adidas product, it marked a return home from a long and arduous journey.
Marosevic had a short but interesting career in the American top flight. Picked fifth in the 2009 SuperDraft, the former U-20 standout joined FC Dallas. Making all of four appearances with the club over two seasons, the striker asked for his release in order to join Toronto FC.
There, he started his time in glowing form, scoring in his first two appearances with the club. He capped off his time with a memorable goal, scoring the lone notch for TFC in the 2011 CONCACAF Champions League group stage showdown against UNAM Pumas (a 1-1 draw).
Then 21 years old, the striker was offered a contract for the 2012 season; a deal he promptly rejected for perceived opportunities overseas.
“I talked to the club about it and just felt I wanted to take my chances, see what Europe is like, experience that for myself and see how things go,” Marosevic tells EoS.
The problem was he thought there would be a safety net awaiting him across the Atlantic where the promise of greener pastures lured him away from his domestic success.
Those opportunities never materialized.
Saying he was “misguided,” Marosevic was left a man without a club. He spent the better part of 10 months searching for a team to call his own. “It was a tough time really,” he said. “I was trying to latch on with clubs. Unfortunately, some things were said that ended up not being completely true.
“They say there are options and those options aren’t there. Lead the player one direction and there is nothing there.”
He eventually landed with Croatian second division side Junak Sinj in October of last year, nearly 10 months after rejecting Toronto’s offer. He made all of four club appearances for the side.
Things looked bleak for the once promising U.S. striker, but with the new year came new opportunities.
“I got a call from (Cosmos coach) Gio Savarese talking to me about potentially bringing me to New York as a part of the Cosmos and that struck great interest to me,” he said.
“I got in touch with Gio through a mutual friend – Wilmer Cabrera,” he revealed. “I knew Wilmer since I was with the U-18 national team. He was one of my coaches there and Wilmer knew me well.”
That conversation led to his participation at the Cosmos Combine this past weekend. There, he caught the attention of the entire technical staff. of the 200+ participants on hand, he became one of two people to earn a contract with the team.
It was a joyous end to a difficult jaunt through world football. Still, Marosevic has no regrets. In fact, he thanks that journey for leading him to this next chapter of his life.
“It was a good experience,” he said. “It made me learn a lot of different things about Europe, the way the European football federations are run. Certain things go on there that we don’t see really.
“I grew as a player and as a person which is most important, and was able to take what I experienced and be able to come back to the States.
“Sometimes you have to make tough decisions in life and I think this decision I made was a good one and it brought me to New York.”