One week closer to opening day and the roster continues to grow. As tickets for regular season games at MCU Park went on sale, the Cosmos announced a couple of additions over the past ten days so we’ll try and get you up to speed.
For those of you concerned about the lack of a recognised striker on the roster, the club announced on February 2nd it would be bringing El Salvador forward Ervin Herrera on Loan from USL side St Louis FC. The 25-year-old has excellent goalscoring credentials, having racked up 14 goals in 25 appearances with St Louis, as well as 25 goals in 45 outings with Santa Tecla in his native El Salvador as the club won the championship in 2015.
“Irvin is an exciting young talent,” Gio Savarese was quoted as saying on the official Cosmos website “He had a great season last year with Saint Louis and we are confident he will continue to grow and improve while at the Cosmos,”
The team also brought back another familiar face this week as the return of Italian midfielder Andrea Mancini was announced. Youngest son of Roberto Mancini, he was part of the youth systems at Inter Milan and Man City, while his father was head coach at each club. Though he made one appearance for the Cosmos last year, as a substitute against Miami FC, Gio Savarese woul like to see a bigger contribution in 2017:
“We expect Andrea to compete for playing time this season,” said Cosmos Head Coach Giovanni Savarese in a press release. “He will add depth to our roster and will look into contributing to our overall progress throughout the season.”
Meanwhile, This is Cosmos Country has reported that the club has invited 19-year-old University of Virginia midfielder Lucas Mendes to join the team for pre-season. Mendes, a US U-20 national team member, won 2016 Gatorade Player of the year after scoring 21 times as he led his high school side to a Virginia State championship. He has previously trained in England with both Fulham and Leicester City and made eight appearances for UVA in his freshman year. Though still untested at this level, Mendes certainly fits Savarese’s remit of bringing in young American talent.
And finally our friends at the First Team Podcast reported that one more familiar face could be returning:
4) Update on Sebastian Guezatti - He is still rehabbing with the club but his status on the roster as with any new player 1/2— First Team Podcast (@FirstTeamPod) February 11, 2017
will need to be determined based on his physical when the time comes 2/2— First Team Podcast (@FirstTeamPod) February 11, 2017
Of course, Sebastian Guenzatti is no stranger to Cosmos Country, having been a part of the side since the inaugural 2013 fall season. We wish the Fresh Meadows native all the best as he rehabs and we hope to see him rejoin the fold soon.
So, still some more rebuilding to be done, especially in the offensive department. The addition of a recognised goalscorer in Ervin Herrera will certainly settle some nerves and hopefully replace some of the potency that Juan Arango brought the team last season. But there is still a gaping hole to be filled in the front line.
But in the interest of positive thinking, I’ll be bringing you a few articles in the coming weeks profiling the most important goalscorers from both the original Cosmos era as well as those who have led the line in recent years, from Pelé, Cabañas and of course Chinaglia to Raul and Arango. Stay tuned!