Roversio Posts First 90-Minute Performance of Season

IMAGE, ANTHONY J. MERCED FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by JAKE NUTTING

It may have been overshadowed in the celebration of the New York Cosmos hard-fought win over Minnesota United FC, but the night had some added importance.

In short — it was the first time all year that Roversio played the entire 90 minutes of a match. And that is quite an achievement considering the defender’s history.

The injury-plagued center back picked up just his second start of the year last week in the club’s scoreless draw in Fort Lauderdale only to be taken off midway through the second half as a precautionary measure. He was fully fit and ready to suit in time for Minnesota, though, and Cosmos head coach Gio Savarese was surely delighted to have him available, given the recent departure of longtime defender Hunter Freeman to Miami FC.

“We know how important Roversio is for us, and he is even more so when you have some players that leave,” said Savarese. “He’s been growing physically. He’s been doing much better.”

Roversio’s presence on the back line helped the Cosmos neutralize the league’s leading scorer Christian Ramirez for most of the match on Saturday. The Brazilian veteran also completed 80 percent of his passes out of the back and recorded three interceptions in the match.

Savarese is still wary of pushing Roversio too hard too soon given his recent extended absences that sidelined him for the entire Spring Season and most of the Fall Season. Prior to the match against Minnesota, Roversio had only appeared in four league matches for the Cosmos.

“We have to make sure that we conserve him, and that we continue to give him the rest that he needs and prepare for each match,” stressed Savarese. “We’ll go one match at a time. We also have David Ochieng, who has done very well, and Jimmy Ockford, who is getting back into training after his injury kept him out. We have good, quality players to play [center back] and we’re glad that Roversio has been able to play.”

Roversio made an even later return to the fray for the Cosmos in the lead up to last year’s championship. After missing eight straight matches, he jumped straight back into the staring lineup in the regular season finale and then went on to start in both of the club’s postseason matches before lifting the Soccer Bowl trophy with his teammates.

  • Leo Glickman

    When he’s healthy, he’s the best central defender playing in the US.

    • ed D

      you mean in the US in the minor leagues?

    • William

      Totally agree massive talent. A major reason we won the championship last year.