New York Cosmos re-sign 2013 standouts Szetela, Freeman

Szetela Freeman Cosmos

With an eye towards the U.S. Open Cup and a lopsided calendar for 2014, the New York Cosmos are busy gathering the pieces that helped them achieve a Fall Championship trophy and Soccer Bowl last season.

Few were as vital to their success as Danny Szetela and Hunter Freeman, who have re-signed with the club this week.

“Hunter was an important player for us last season, not just on the field, but in the locker room as well,” head coach Giovanni Savarese said. “He’s a perfect player for the style of play we like to instill on our club.

“Danny has made great progress since he started with us last June. He grew game by game last season and was fundamental for us to reach the Soccer Bowl. I believe we still have not seen the best of him yet. He still has a lot of potential to grow as a player. We are very excited to keep him as part of the Cosmos family.”

Freeman signs with the team on his 29th birthday. The defender has taken on a major leadership role within the team, bookending the NASL’s most respected defensive line alongside captain Carlos Mendes, Roversio and Ayoze. Freeman earned starts in 12 regular season matches and took part in the Cosmos Soccer Bowl victory.

“Being part of the Cosmos reboot and winning the Soccer Bowl during our first season back was a tremendous achievement for me personally,” Freeman said. “I truly feel like we’re building something special here, so I wanted to come back and help continue that. My family also loves being in New York and we’re looking forward to 2014 with the team.”

Szetela, 26, was the Cinderella story for the team’s Cinderella season. Once a promising midfielder in the U.S. Men’s National Team, Szetela faced personal and physical problems that put a near halt to his career. With New York, he has managed to turn around his fortunes, becoming one of the team’s most valuable commodities.

“The Cosmos gave me the opportunity to return to the field after a very tough couple of years and I wanted to repay the club’s faith in me,” said Szetela. “Right now I’m really enjoying my soccer and I’m grateful for the tremendous support the fans and my teammates have shown me. I’m excited to move forward with the Cosmos.”

Their return comes on the heels of an EOS exclusive, reporting the departure of Kyle Reynish to the Chicago Fire.