“The Cosmos are back in the field again and hopefully this is the base of what is going to go in the future.” – Giovanni Savarese; Director of the Cosmos Academy East
While the New York Cosmos expect to join Major League Soccer for the 2013 season, Cosmos fans have the opportunity to see the Cosmos Academy in action. For the first time in 25 years, the New York Cosmos fielded a team that wasn’t playing an anniversary game.
Making their debut, the Cosmos Academy U-18 team kicked off its season and demonstrated they are the New York Cosmos as they defeated Branford, Connecticut’s own South Central Premier Soccer Club, 3-2 at the Floyd Bennett Field.
On a November Saturday where the weather was cold but the enthusiasm caliente, Cosmos fans witnessed the next generation of Cosmos players razzle-dazzle both the crowd and their opponents with their 4-3-3 style of play.
For many parents in attendance, seeing their son in a New York Cosmos kit was evidence enough that the Cosmos have already arrived. While I covered the game from the stands, I had the privilege to meet Ozzie Torres’ parents, Osvaldo and Elizabeth.
Both are from Paraguay, and thanks to the Paraguayan duo of Roberto Cabanas and Julio Cesar Romero, they are lifelong Cosmos fans. To see Ozzie in a Cosmos uniform was very moving for the both of them.
“Ozzie comes from a proud line of soccer players in his family. Through his father’s side, he is related to Paraguay’s symbolic footballer, goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert, who played in the 1998 and 2002 World Cup,” explained Elizabeth.
Currently a senior at White Plains High School, Ozzie plays left defender for the Cosmos Academy East. Along with his responsibilities as a student, he trains with the Cosmos Academy three to four times a week.
“Today is a day that we were all waiting for. Now we can say that our son has joined Roberto Cabanas and Julio Cesar Romero as Paraguayans who have played for the New York Cosmos,” expressed Osvaldo.
Along with the Torreses, I met and talked with other parents and current Cosmos Academy players. Interacting with them was wonderful because they provided the lowdown on the players who were out in the pitch while discussing tactics with me.
In addition, the younger Cosmos Academy players proudly talked about their scrimmage game earlier today. Despite losing 6-5, the players felt they played a good game and look forward to their next one. From the expression in their faces, they appeared to be enjoying their experience.
While many Cosmos fans are waiting for 2013 to arrive, I recommend they support the Cosmos Academy and attend a few games. Not only will you have the opportunity to cheer for a Cosmos team, you’re getting the opportunity to meet the players’ parents in the stands.
If you’re a Supporters Club, what better atmosphere will you have to practice your chants and recruit new members?
Cesar Diaz covers Soccer for Latino Sports. Please e-mail him your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.