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State of the New York Cosmos roster: Defenders

The New York Cosmos defense has been one of the most stable units in the North American Soccer League since the reboot in 2013. The starting four of that title winning side were Hunter Freeman, Carlos Mendes, Roversio, and Ayoze, and that group, when healthy, is likely still first choice two years later.

When that group was healthy in 2014, the boys in green were easily the best defensive team in the NASL. Health was an issue, however, as Roversio and Ayoze both had rough seasons dealing with injuries.

While Roversio did have some injury concerns early in the preseason, he appears to be fit and ready to go at this point. Whether or not he can remain healthy is another matter, however, and it seem likely that the club's third choice center back will likely be tested often.

That primary backup is one position in which there has been some change. Last season, Jimmy Ockford was Gio Savarese's first option when Roversio was unavailable. In 2015, Ockford has returned to Seattle, while Paraguayan Samuel Caceres has been brought in to take his place.

Caceres won't be available for the opener, as he's still sorting out visa issues and hasn't traveled with the club. Freeman won't be available this weekend either, as he's still dealing with an injury of his own. That means that the sixth member of the Cosmos defensive corps, the versatile Hunter Gorskie, will be starting against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

All told, the Cosmos defense has enough quality to believe they'll be among the best units in the league. Depth is a major concern, however, as six defenders just isn't enough depth to get through an entire season (as Arsenal fans would attest). There's still work to be done in this area, but as long as Savarese finds some depth soon, the club ook to be in good shape at the back.