The New York Cosmos have resigned Juan Arango, the 2016 North American Soccer League Most Valuable Player and Soccer Bowl winner, Juan Arango. The deal is pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate.
“We welcome back Juan back to our club,” said Giovanni Savarese, Cosmos Head Coach and Sporting Director. “His experience and quality will provide a tremendous resource to our team this year.”
Arango, 37, originally joined the Cosmos in January 2016, becoming one of the team’s key players in a Championship-winning 2016 NASL Season. The Venezuela native, who started all 29 of his games for New York, was named NASL Player of the Month for October 2016 and earned 10 Team of the Week honors. Arango also picked up two Player of the Week nods. He scored a total of 15 goals and produced seven assists for the defending NASL Champions, finishing second in the league in both categories.
Arango played a pivotal role in the Cosmos’ post-season triumph. The midfielder headed in a 73rd-minute equalizer against Rayo OKC in the 2016 NASL Championship Semifinal, before setting up the 90th-minute game-winner that sent the Cosmos to their second consecutive Championship Final. The 2016 NASL Golden Ball recipient then helped the Cosmos lift the Soccer Bowl.
“This is a great time for me to return to the Cosmos,” said Arango. “After winning the title last year, one can only feel fortunate to wear this jersey once again. I look forward to stepping on the pitch and help the team in any way I can.”
Arango began his career in Venezuela, featuring for Zulia FC and Caracas. He made a move to Mexico in 2000, signing with Monterrey before playing for Pachuca, Puebla and Tijuana. Arango helped Pachuca win the 2002 CONCACAF Champions Cup. He was tied for the tournament’s top scorer with Monarcas Morelia’s Alex Fernandes with four goals.
The skillful midfielder joined Spanish side, RCD Mallorca, in 2004. He spent five years at the club, becoming its top scorer in the 2005-06 season with 11 goals. Arango bagged a total of 46 goals in 183 matches. He remains the club’s second all-time top scorer to this day.
Arango has shone for both club and country, setting two records for Venezuela’s national team as the all-time leader in appearances (129) and goals (23). The legendary Captain led La Vinotinto to a historic fourth place finish in Copa América 2011 and appeared in six editions of the prestigious tournament.
The veteran midfielder returned to his boyhood club, Zulia FC, in Venezuela’s top tier in January 2017. He made 21 appearances for Los Petroleros in all competitions, scoring four goals and making five assists. Arango featured in the club’s Copa Libertadores campaign, recording two goals and one assist in six games.