On Tuesday, the New York Cosmos made another player signing, announcing that they've reached an agreement with center back David Ochieng on a contract. As usual with the North American Soccer League champions, the specifics of the deal were not disclosed.
Ochieng is a 23-year old center back that stands 6'2" tall, and has been representing Kenya internationally since 2012. The youngster will take up one of the club's seven international roster slots, and adds a much needed warm body to the defensive unit:.
Much like last year at this time, depth in defense has been a big concern for the Cosmos, and probably still is to some extent. All four starting defenders are 30-years old or older, and Roversio in particular has been dealing with lingering knee issues for the past several seasons, forcing Savarese to rely pretty heavily on his depth options in the heart of the defense. With that in mind, Ochieng ought to get plenty of opportunities this season.
While this signing probably eliminates the need to add another center back, I'd feel quite a bit more comfortable if the club still found another fullback, as they currently have just Jimmy Mulligan, Hunter Freeman, and Ayoze with significant first-team experience to choose from. I'd also like to see another striker added to the mix, and additional depth on the wings, as the club is very short on depth at the moment.
That said, this signing should be a pretty good one, and puts the club one step closer to being ready for the season opener against Ottawa Fury FC. With preseason play beginning in just a few days, let's hope that there's more roster news in short order.