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2014 New York Cosmos Preview: The Attackers

There were additions to the Cosmos' attack, which was the area that needed the most help last season

Andy Marlin

The Cosmos were the most difficult team in the North American Soccer League to score against in 2013, but spent a large portion of the season trying to find a consistent goal scorer. While they managed to find just enough goals to win the fall championship before defeating Atlanta in the Soccer Bowl, the club was clearly looking to add more consistent production to the forward ranks in 2014.

Unsurprisingly, the biggest rumor surrounding the club since the conclusion of last season has been their pursuit of Raul, one of the all-time great European goalscorers. That rumor has not slowed down even with the additions of a pair of strikers, though there is no chance of the player joining before the conclusion of the spring season (if the club can make the finances work at all).

The club did add a pair of talented forwards to the ranks, signing Mads Stokkelien from overseas while poaching Hans Denissen from the San Antonio Scorpions. Both of that pair should dramatically improve the Cosmos attack, though Denissen is dealing with a knee injury that will see his season get off to a later start then he would probably like. The club started last season using Stefan Dimitrov as their center forward, and he'll return for the 2014 season as well. Alessandro Noselli will also be back after proving valuable depth during the fall campaign.

Diomar Diaz and Sebastian Guenzatti saw the bulk of the minutes on the wings, and both did an admirable job. Diaz in particular chipped in some timely goals last fall, and now the pair will be returning for a second season in green and white. Rounding out the attacking unit will be Peri Marosevic, David Diosa, and Jemal Johnson. Marosevic saw a fair amount of action in a reserve role last season, while Diosa and Johnson were limited to just a handful of minutes each. Johnson was unavailable for most of last season due to injury.

The club made improving the attack their primary focus this winter, and whether or not that happens will likely determine just how well the 2014 season goes. New York already boasts the league's best defense and a midfield that could compete with the best units in MLS, but until they're able to count on their forwards to consistently find the net, there are going to be an awful lot of nervous finishes.