This has been a pretty bust week of roster moves for the New York Cosmos. As everyone has pretty much expected, no players have joined the club, unless if you count the addition of Neil Degrasse Tyson as reported by The Nutmeg News.
Nice to see us making such an iconic signing https://t.co/Jvojts8MP9— Twice a Cosmo (@TwiceACosmo) January 22, 2018
But in less comedic news, Andres Flores reunited with former Cosmos coach Gio Savarese in Portland. The midfielder played for the Cosmos for four seasons under Savarese and will provide his signature swiss army knife style versatility to Portland’s midfield. In my opinion, Flores is one of the most under-appreciated players of the Cosmos Modern Era, so it’s bittersweet to see him go, but at the same time exciting for Gio to bring some Cosmos-DNA to his Timbers.
Flores said the following of his departure from the Cosmos
A source has confirmed to me that the Portland Timbers have acquired El Salvador midfielder Andres Flores from the New York Cosmos. He is expected to provide depth in the midfield #RCTID #MLS https://t.co/DaTWLVkatI— Jamie Goldberg (@Jamiebgoldberg) January 23, 2018
Fullback Ryan Richter has announced his retirement in order to pursue coaching. Richter joined the Cosmos in the 2016 season, and of course, is known for hitting the game winning penalty against Indy Eleven in the NASL Championship Final. Richter, known belovedly as “Shaqaldinho” on social media, released the following statement on Instagram:
To my soccer family... After 7 amazing years I have made the difficult decision to call time on my playing career. Although I feel I still have a lot to give to the game, I have found a new passion and been given the opportunity to pursue a new career in coaching. I’m walking away happy because of the incredible journey that this game has taken me on and grateful for every minute that I was given as a pro soccer player. I have made some great memories, lifelong friendships and relationships, and learned so much about life through soccer. There are so many people I have to thank for making this dream a reality. To my wife and son, thank you for allowing me to do this. Gia, no matter what happened every day I know I could come home to someone who would make everything okay. You’ve sacrificed everything to allow me to chase this all while being an amazing wife and Mom. Theo, whatever you do in life I hope that you follow your passion and can find happiness knowing your parents will love and support you no matter what. To my parents, sister, family and friends, without your support none of this ever would have possible. Thank you for all the sacrifices you made to allow me chase my dreams. Every call, message, game you came to, and sacrifice you made is something I’ll forever remember. To the many lifelong friends I’ve met in this game. I hope we can help each other and push each other in the next phase of life the same way we did on the field. To the amazing people and coaches in the organizations I’ve played for, thank you not only for the opportunities you gave me but also your friendships. My agent PJ, for your unbelievable hustle to find every option that was available and for your support and friendship. And all the incredible people, fans, reporters, staff and friends I’ve made along the way thank you! There is no better feeling than looking at someone you care about and knowing they are truly proud of you! ✌ ⚽️
The same day Richter announced his retirement Danny Szetela expressed concern about young players retiring due to league issues in US Soccer.
Seeing players retire because of the soccer situation in this country really is sad so many young talented players calling it quits who have potential to reach the top and making change in soccer in the United States. @ussoccer— Danny Szetela (@DSzetela14) January 23, 2018
Szetela further elaborated on his point in an interview with Front Row Soccer, where he talked about how the NASL uncertainty is affecting not only his career, but his livelihood as well. Because of his age, Szetela has found it difficult to find a new club, especially because of the pay situation in the USL.
Szetela's story here adds some color to the commentary on disparity between NASL & USL in pay & overall benefits, & why losing NASL hurts soccer in this country. Matters when you think about players as people & not like they are a collection of pixels & statistics in a FIFA game https://t.co/mvrHESHdeb— Chris Kivlehan (@kivlehan) January 25, 2018
I highly recommend reading Szetela’s interview in full. It’s really depressing to see not only the soccer, but the human aspect of the Cosmos’ current situation. We’re not just losing a team, but people are losing their jobs and their livelihoods. Hopefully we can some sort of resolution soon.