New York Cosmos COO Erik Stover has always been open to discussing the club with its fans, and on Thursday, he hosted an AMA on Reddit. The informal Q&A session provided all sorts of interesting insight, and with the season fast approaching, his comments on the roster, and some potential upcoming moves were some of the most interesting points of discussion.
Early on in the session, Stover was asked about the state of the roster, and confirmed what we wrote here recently, that the boys in green and white don't currently have an open international roster spot:
Currently we're at the maximum international roster spots. One player has applied for a green card, and we are in the middle of that process. The timing of that is uncertain.
There are several realistic candidates for the green card, with Roversio, Ayoze, and Ruben Bover all being extremely sensible options. Long term, it would be extremely useful if Bover wound up becoming a 'domestic' player, as he's the youngest of that trio, and could conceivably remain with the club for quite a while.
Should a green card become reality for any of the Cosmos current internationals, that would free up an international roster spot, with Kranjcar being an obvious candidate to fill that vacancy. Stover was asked about the former Tottenham Hotspur man on Thursday, as well:
Niko is a great player and a wonderful person. The roster situation at the moment makes it difficult, but we haven't ruled it out completely. We expect that to be resolved - one way or the other - in the next few days.
While we're holding out hope that space gets cleared up for Kranjcar in the next few days, on player that doesn't look likely to join the Cosmos in the near future is Herculez Gomez, who was waived by Toronto FC last week. If you remember, Gomez almost joined the NASL side last season, before making his way to MLS. Here's how Stover responded when asked about the US international:
At this point, probably not. We like where the roster stands at the moment. There may be 1-2 other transactions, but likely not with Herculez.
With Yasmani Duk, Lucky Mkosana, and Jairo Arrieta aboard, it's hard to find much to complain about with the decision to pass on Gomez, who probably wouldn't be a shoe in to start, and would likely cost a good deal of money at this point.
Stover was also asked about Georgios Samaras, who is expected to be welcomed to Rayo OKC later today:
I think Rayo OKC signing him is great for the league. Samaras is a great guy. We took a long look at him, and in the end we decided to go in a different direction. Hopefully he's fully recovered and can perform well for Rayo OKC and the NASL... just not against the Cosmos.
While we may have passed on Samaras, who is a bigger name (and bigger guy) than Duk, in the end, I honestly believe we landed a better player, who should fit in well with Gio Savarese's possession-based approach. Stover seems to be happy with the composition of the squad, as well.
I think this is the best roster that we've had over the past four seasons. We've gotten better at almost every position. Right now, there's not a glaring need. But you never know what opportunity might present itself.