February 4, 2013
THE WAITING GAME
Savarese would rather build the Cosmos sooner than later
By Michael Lewis
|Giovanni Savarese: "From a soccer standpoint, it represents a bigger challenge in August instead of starting right now."
Photo courtesy of the New York Cosmos
On paper, it might look like an advantage that the New York Cosmos won't have to field a team until August.
In reality, head coach Giovanni Savarese said it makes it more difficult to form a team, compared to having one ready for the North American Soccer League's spring season.
The North American Soccer League club could not get players during the winter transfer window, which closed on Thursday. The Cosmos will have to wait until the summer transfer window. Savarese has seven months to build a team until the NASL fall season begins in August.
"From a soccer standpoint, it represents a bigger challenge in August instead of starting right now," Savarese said in a recent interview. "We would have the possibility of finding more players if we had to start right away than starting to play in August. As crazy as it sounds, even though you have more time. That's ... how the system works in the United States. It makes it more complicated to have to wait all the way because you want players to have activity. So it is a disadvantage for us to have to play in August."
But Savarese said he understood why the Cosmos chose not to compete in the NASL's spring season and wait until the fall season because the team had to get its off-the-field ducks in a row.
"It made sense to get something organized to make sure we had time to get a stadium, a practice facility and all those things together," Savarese said. "We'll put a team together and we hope to able to show the best when the season starts in August. I find it a little bit interesting for somebody [to say it won't be] an advantage for us."
Saying that, the Cosmos have their periscope up, looking to signing domestic-based and international players.
"If there is the right player right now, we'll sign him," Savarese said. "There's a few guys who who have been talking to, internationals, who we are looking to sign. We are hopeful we can sign soon enough. Definitely, that's a priority for sure."
Savarese said there were several players on the team's radar, but can't sign because they are still under contract with their respective teams. Needless to say, the Cosmos coach could not reveal any names.
"Some players, we still have to respect the fact that they are still playing for some other clubs until June," he said. "We cannot announce those players at the moment. We want to make sure they can finish their contracts and hopefully we can have them coming to us as soon as they finish with their team."
There are no priorities as to which positions Savarese wants to fill at first.
"Right now I'm looking at everything," Savarese said. "We are specifically looking at players who have some kind of qualities in the position that they will be playing. . . . If you are getting players of good quality and good experience and you have to change some things."
There had been reports that former University of Virginia goalkeeper Diego Restrepo, who plays for Deportivo Tachira in Venezuela, was linked to the Cosmos. Savarese said he wasn't on the Cosmos' radar.
"It is something in a particular point [that was] a possibility," he said. "At the moment it is not."