Before the 2015 NASL season kicked off, the New York Cosmos made some noise when they announced the signing of United States U17 star Haji Wright. On Monday, the club signed an international teammate of Wright's, announcing that they have reached an agreement with defender/midfielder Alexis Velela. As usual with the club, specifics were not disclosed.
Velela has been involved in the United States youth setup since 2011, and started every match of this year's CONCACAF U17 championship. He'll likely be involved in the U17 World Cup held this autumn, along with Wright.
As was the case with Wright, Velela signing with the Cosmos is a bit of a coup for the NASL club. While Velela's future probably lies in Europe if he develops according to plan, the Cosmos give the player an easier route to make that jump than MLS typically does, and given the Cosmos' current situation, possibly a better chance of first team minutes as well. I suppose that's one of the big benefits of having already clinched a home playoff match...the ability to give some youngsters an opportunity without nearly as much pressure.
Regardless of whether Velela factors into the first team picture this season or not, however, it's nice to see the club attracting some of the top young talents in the United States. Welcome to New York, Alexis.