Report: New York Cosmos target Malaga striker Roque Santa Cruz

IMAGE, UEFA.COM

IMAGE, UEFA.COM

With the acquisition of Real Madrid legend Raul becoming a bit more complicated, the New York Cosmos may have their eyes set on another powerful striker.

Radio Marca Malaga — an on-air affiliate of Spanish national sports newspaper Marca — report the Cosmos have interest in Malaga striker Roque Santa Cruz.

The soon-to-be 33-year-old Santa Cruz signed with Malaga on July 2013 after a loan stint from mother club, Manchester City. His contract reportedly runs through 2016, meaning the Cosmos would have to pay a transfer fee if they hope to secure his services.

According to Radio Marca, the team is prepared to shell out just over two millions dollars to Malaga for the strikers services, while offering Santa Cruz nearly $2.7 million in annual wages to man their frontline.

EOS was unable to receive confirmation of the story at the time of this report.

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The Paraguayan striker would certainly fill a need for New York. The club is clearly unhappy with the return on their investment in Norwegian striker Mads Stokkelien, who has fallen well short of his promise as the team’s primary target forward (15 appearances, three goals, two assists). Head Coach Giovanni Savarese was vocal about his disappointment last week, even going so far as to bench the team’s star striker.

Their offense has also been anemic this Fall season, scoring all of five goals through six matches. That is an area where Santa Cruz would become an immediate upgrade.

While that may all be true, it would be more than just a shock if the Paraguayan striker landed in New York. For as anemic as the scoring has been, so has team attendance. That transfer fee and those wages would rival any paid by first division MLS sides, let alone NASL teams.

Further, after a year of operations, the club has managed to put out a respectable on-field product. Team ownership insists on a long-term view in their investment plans. The NASL offers no restrictions on spending. However, investing a hefty amount of money — both up front and for the long term — in an injury-prone player that few will recognize would seem foolhardy.

The Cosmos are much like New York City F.C. — they need an impact signing that will not only score goals, but also put butts in seats.

Santa Cruz may be able to score goals, but visibility — and health — are definitely a concern.

What are your thoughts on the report? Is it agent talk gone wild? Would it be wise for the Cosmos to take on the veteran forward?

16 Comments

  1. Anthony

    08/12/2014 at 11:04 am

    at 33 its actually a pretty decent signing for a player with his class…especially if it is short 2 year deal. God knows the Cosmos really need a quality finisher and Santa Cruz can finish with his feet and in the air.

  2. LOL

    08/12/2014 at 11:04 am

    Who?

    • Anthony

      08/12/2014 at 11:05 am

      Seriously?!?! You’ve never heard of Roque Santa Cruz, how long have you followed soccer?

      • Anthony

        08/12/2014 at 11:07 am

        100 caps or so for Paraguay and like 30 goals, 8 years at Bayern Munich and played more recently for Blackburn and Man Shity

  3. Dave from Dix Hills

    08/12/2014 at 11:07 am

    This guy has an Achilles made of paper mâché. On that turf? Bad idea. Would be Henry times a 10000000 with less chance of goals.

  4. RealMenPlaySoccer

    08/12/2014 at 1:02 pm

    I hope even in his 33-years of age, Santa Cruz can still perform well. I really concern about his age affecting his performance too much.

  5. Andrew Bissonette

    08/12/2014 at 2:08 pm

    I have no idea how the Cosmos can possibly afford this. They’re drawing 4k per game and they want to spend a $2mil transfer fee AND $2.7mil per year on this guy, plus what they already have on their roster…I hope this deal goes through and it bankrupts them.

    • Anonymous

      08/12/2014 at 2:53 pm

      lol MLS people still don’t understand Free Market or Clubs that are allowed to spend in that Free Market. Maybe just maybe they know something you don’t, like the SSS is a go maybe ? This group has been very smart on the field so far, they know what needs to be done. Do i agree with an injury prone player on turf > not really, but the Cosmos group has been around for less than a year on the field & they have 2 pieces of hardware.

  6. Roberto

    08/12/2014 at 2:36 pm

    Though at 33, Roque is a very good signing for the Cosmos, it must be said that you cannot put all your eggs in one basket. A quality finisher like Roque Santa Cruz is only as effective as his supporting cast. Gio Savarese will have to reset his line around Santa Cruz to maximize his potential. Doing that, could possibly expose other weaknesses. Gio has his work cut out for!!!

  7. The Real Stan

    08/12/2014 at 6:04 pm

    If they get that stadium it’s a game changer, this guy has to be an investment piece towards that, nice pick up but who will replace Senna

  8. Joey

    08/12/2014 at 11:09 pm

    If those dollar figures are true, I don’t think its a wise investment at all, especially if the stadium isn’t guaranteed yet. I don’t think Mads Stokkelian deserves the criticism he is getting. The issue is not him finishing, the issue really had to do with the team as a whole, not being able to create chances. With the return of Senna and signing of Flores, there have been signs that creativity is trying to emerge. I also think Diomar Diaz provides the dynamics that is needed, to help create chances for the forwards. Denissen hasn’t been lighting it up either in the few games he’s played. I say, hold judgement on Mads, until the midfield is completely healthy. I still have a lot of faith in him, so giving up on him with another big investment, seems a bit hasty.
    If they want a solid replacement for Noselli, go for it, but this is crazy money for someone who may score goals, but isn’t going to draw fans from his namesake. Raul would have been ideal in that regards, because not Cruz. I’m not sure there is another alternative out there to Raul, so they need to look at the next signing as a replacement for Noselli and its going to cost them a lot more than what Noselli cost them. It’s not my money though, so if he Cruz signs…. I’ll be ready to welcome him to the Cosmos!

    • Anthony

      08/14/2014 at 11:17 am

      this is a very sensible response against the signing, hard to disagree. I do think they need to lure more recognizable players with talent to help the team though. I’m not against Cruz at all but i wont be disappointed if it doesn’t happen either.

  9. Pingback: Savarese confirms Cosmos' chase for Malaga striker Roque Santa Cruz over

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