Since the reboot in 2013, the state of the New York Cosmos midfield has been largely dependent on Marcos Senna. During the title-winning campaign, Senna remained healthy and proved to be the best player in the North American Soccer League by a fairly wide margin, and the Cosmos looked like the class of the league as they brought silverware back to New York just months after beginning life in the NASL.
2014 was a bit more difficult for both Senna and the club, as the Brazilian born former Spanish international spent much of the season dealing with injury. Before the issues began, the defending champions were clicking, and probably should have won the spring season title. The fall was a real struggle for the club in which they had to fight just to make the playoffs, and unsurprisingly, Senna spent the bulk of the second half dealing with injuries.
Senna is back for the 2015 season, and if he stays healthy, the midfield should really tick. Pivot partner Danny Szetela is also returning, and recently told Matthew Levine that he's finally feeling close to 100%.
Last season, the primary fallback option for Senna was Joseph Nane. Nane will not be back with the club in 2015, and the club will miss his physical presence against rough and tumble opponents, as well as when trying to close down matches in which they hold the lead. His replacement, of sorts, is MLS veteran Adam Moffat, who brings an entirely different dimension to the club.
Moffat is more of an all-around talent, as opposed to the defensive specialist the club had in Nane. That makes him a more natural replacement for Senna should the 38-year old need a day off, as both he and Szetela should give the Cosmos a very formidable midfield even in his absence. He's also a very versatile player that can play any number of roles for Gio Savarese's side, and should see a ton of minutes this season even if both Szetela and Senna are on the pitch.
From an attacking standpoint, the club look quite a bit different than they did at this time a year ago. David Diosa and Sebastian Guenzatti were both important players early on, but they'll be pushed hard for minutes by El Salvador international Andres Flores, former San Antonio Scorpion Walter Restrepo, and Leo Fernandes, who spends the season on loan from the Philadelphia Union. Jimmy Mulligan and Hagop Chirishian also return to round out the midfield group.
This midfield unit has both depth and talent, and the versatility of many of their players should allow Savarese to adjust to any situation. The one thing I think the club might be lacking is a holding specialist, though with the manager confirming he'd still like to see on player added to each line, it's possible that we see that void filled in the not-too-distant future. Like last year though, the ultimate success of this unit is still largely dependent on the health and effectiveness of the oldest player in the squad. Keep your fingers crossed...