by DAVE MARTINEZ
The New York Cosmos are set to lose another valuable piece from their 2015 NASL Championship winning side, but they won’t be left empty handed.
Following reports from Philly.com’s Kevin Kinkead via Twitter, EoS can confirm that the Philadelphia Union have signed Walter Restrepo to a one-year deal, with a club option for year two. In return, sources tell EoS that the Union will pay a transfer fee for Restrepo and will also send an unnamed player to the Cosmos on a season-long loan.
EoS can confirm that the player will not be former Cosmos loanee Leo Fernandes.
Restrepo was under a club option for the 2016 season with the Cosmos. However, team manager and sporting director Giovanni Savarese gave his player the green light last month to explore his options on the free agent market.
The Colombian playmaker had interest from teams in South America, MLS and NASL. However, it was the Union that provided the most enticing offer to all parties involved. Initial discussions between the Union and Cosmos saw several trade scenarios, including a situation which would have seen the Cosmos pick up a pair of Philadelphia loanees for Restrepo. Ultimately, they decided on a transfer fee and a loanee instead.
Sporting KC were also chasing Restrepo’s signature.
Restrepo comes to the Union after an outstanding season with the New York Cosmos, appearing in 32 total matches, scoring three goals and adding five assists. He is a proven winner in the lower leagues, boasting two NASL Soccer Bowl victories and a one-time NASL Best XI award in 2013.
His departure, along with the losses of Raul, Marcos Senna and the aforementioned Fernandes, leave the Cosmos with many holes to fill for the coming campaign. However, those losses are cushioned by the addition of the aforementioned loanee and a transfer fee which can be used to further bolster the club.