The New York Cosmos have spent much of the offseason reshaping their roster, and were forced to put much of the focus on their attacking unit following the retirement of Raul and Marcos Senna, and the departures of both Leo Fernandes and Walter Restrepo. Gio Savarese and his coaching staff have done a wonderful job thus far of adding quality to replace them, however, bringing in players such as Juan Arango, Yohandry Orozco, Yasmani Duk, and Jairo Arrieta.
Following Wednesday's Media Day, we have some new quotes from Savarese indicating that the club might not be done adding to the attack quite yet. This is Cosmos Country asked the coach about rumors that the club were close to a European signing, as well as the status of Niko Kranjcar, who has been training with the club. Here's what Gio had to say to them:
"Can they both be together? The two questions? Okay, I think they have a relationship, both of them. We are hopeful that there’s going to be some good news coming along those lines of your question. Hopefully soon enough, you’ll know the answer that could tie the two questions very soon in a very positive way."
This comment ties into an answer we had from COO Erik Stover last week, when asked about the roster situation in an AMA. Stover mentioned that one current Cosmos player currently occupying an international roster slot was working toward securing a green card, and Savarese's response to the Kranjcar question yesterday would seem to indicate that the club is expecting that green card to happen relatively soon. Should that be the case, the door would be open for the club to sign Niko immediately.
Should the Cosmos comlete a Kranjcar deal before the season kicks off, it would become awfully hard not to view them as the overwhelming favorites to repeat as NASL champions, and a real front runner for the US Open Cup. An attacking foursome of Arango, Duk, Orozco, and Kranjcar would rank among the best in the United States, and would be far more formidable than anything that New York has had to offer in their first three years in the NASL.
In addition to the starting quality, the addition of Niko would give the Cosmos attack the sort of depth it has never had before. Having options such as Lucky Mkosana, Arrieta, Andres Flores, Sebastian Guenzatti, and Ruben Bover gives Gio real alternatives if fixture congestion or injury strike, as well as giving him plenty of options to change things up in any situation. The addition would be absolutely fantastic, as far as I'm concerned, and would probably be enough that we could close the book on this offseason, and focus on the opener against Ottawa Fury FC.
TICC also had some interesting tidbits about tactics and Roversio, who unsurprisingly, is dealing with knee issues yet again. You can find their most recent podcast, in full, by clicking this link, and should definitely make the time it takes to listen to the whole thing as soon as humanly possible.
It's almost time for the new season to kick off...