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Walter Restrepo rejects Cosmos option, drawing interest from MLS sides

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Walter Restrepo was a key cog in the New York Cosmos attack this season, but it looks as if the player might not be back with the club for the 2016 campaign. According to Empire of Soccer*, the wide forward has decided to decline his option to return to the Cosmos, opting instead for free agency.

*Make sure to bookmark EoS, as they do a great job reporting on the Cosmos

Restrepo appeared in 33 matches for the boys in green and white this season, 31 in the North American Soccer League, and two U.S. Open Cup matches. 28 of those 33 appearances were starts, showing just how highly head coach Gio Savarese valued the forward's skillset.

Martinez is reporting that a pair of MLS sides have already registered interest in Restrepo, as well as a handful of NASL sides. It would seem unlikely that the wideman would find a better option than the defending champs should he opt to remain in the NASL, but MLS sides could certainly compete with New York in terms of a contract offer, and with the player obviously having some interest in that sort of move, I'd be surprised if a MLS move doesn't eventually happen. The report also notes that the Cosmos still have interest in a reunion, should Restrepo not find a suitable offer elsewhere.

Restrepo's departure will leave a major hole for Savarese to fill, which could look even larger depending on what happens with loanee Leo Fernandes, or the Philadelphia Union. Should both forwards wind up in MLS next season, that's a lot of minutes that the club is going to have to replace.