BY DAVE MARTINEZ
The last remaining Metrostar is now the first New York Cosmos player of the modern era.
The Cosmos have officially signed former Red Bull defender Carlos Mendes. Mendes, who will be 32 at months end, is a Mineola native and no stranger to the New York market. From 2005-’11, he was a fixture within the Red Bulls roster both as a starter and off the bench. He was cut by the team in 2011, the last remaining holdover of the MetroStars era.
He now reunites with former Red Bulls Giovanni Savarese and Erik Stover with the fledgling club.
“Carlos is a Long Island guy, well respected in the community and a leader on and off the field,” Cosmos COO Erik Stover said. “He gives us a solid foundation to build our club around.”
Savarese also added his approval of the acquisition. “Carlos is an experience and solid defender. We fully expect him to be a stong presence in the locker room and provide us with the leadership we’ll need.”
Now, how will Mendes be used leading up to the Fall 2013 season? During a Q&A session with supporters, Stover said the team would hire 10-12 players during both the winter and summer transfer windows in preparation of their Fall debut. Players signed during the winter window would be loaned out to interested third parties to keep them active. In order to maintain their connection with the team, the Cosmos also intend to use the players for PR purposes when available.
“I’m thrilled to join the New York Cosmos and not only play for a club that has seen some of the greatest players in soccer history but also return to my backyard to get the chance to compete in front of my family and friends,” said Mendes.
The Mendes signing is significant in that it establishes the return of a local veteran while continuing the Cosmos trend of reuniting old faces for the Red Bull regime.
What do you think of the signing? Share your thoughts below.