November 19, 2012
Cosmos name Savarese their head coach
NEW YORK – The New York Cosmos on Monday named Giovanni “Gio” Savarese head coach, it was announced by COO Erik Stover.
|Giovanni Savarese will direct the Cosmos during the 2013 NASL season.
Photo courtesy of the New York Cosmos
Savarese, one of the most popular players in the history of the MetroStars, most recently served as director of the Cosmos Academy and manager of the Cosmos Under-23 team that played in the USL Premier Development League. He also is a soccer commentator on ESPN Deportes.
“With his stature and connections in the New York-area, combined with his eye for talent and leadership ability, Gio is the perfect candidate to lead the Cosmos back to the playing field,” Stover said in a statement.
BigAppleSoccer.com broke the story earlier on Monday morrning.
Savarese, 42, will direct the Cosmos, who will compete in the North American Soccer League in 2013. It will be the first time the storied team will play in a competitive league in almost three decades.
“I know how much the New York Cosmos mean to the local soccer community, understand my great responsibility and am excited about the challenges ahead," he said in a statement. "I’m thrilled and appreciative for the opportunity and look forward to putting together a competitive team.”
A native of Caracas, Venezuela and of Italian descent, Savarese’s first trip to New York was to attend one of Pelé's soccer camps where he met and was influenced by the New York Cosmos legend. Savarese returned to the U.S. to play college soccer at Long Island University, after earning six caps with the Venezuelan National Team.
After a stellar career at LIU, Savarese joined the Long Island Rough Riders and combined with future U.S. Men's National Team players Tony Meola and Chris Armas to lead the team to the 1995 U.S. Interregional Soccer League title, scoring 33 goals.
He was drafted by the MetroStars in the ninth round of the first MLS player draft and scored the team’s first goal in its franchise opener. Savarese spent three seasons with the MetroStars, scoring a then club record 44 goals in all competitions, a mark that stood for 12 seasons until Juan Pablo Angel broke the record. He also played professionally in Italy, England and Venezuela.
In 2005, Savarese returned to the MetroStars as the head of their youth development, a position he served in with the rebranded Red Bulls through 2007. In 2008, Savarese was named US Development Academy national U-16 coach of the year.
The Cosmos will play the 2013 North American Soccer League season at James M. Shuart Stadium at Hofstra University. That is the same stadium the team competed in the original NASL in their second and third years (1972 and 1973). The stadium has a seating capacity of more than 13,000.