The effort to rebuild the New York Cosmos roster for the 2017 season took a big step forward as the team has signed defender Carlos Mendes.
A Long Island native who first joined the team from MLS side Columbus Crew in 2013, Mendes will maintain his role as team captain for a team that won the North American Soccer League championship three of the past four seasons.
“At the Cosmos, we’ve always conducted ourselves as a family, so the last few months have been extremely difficult on many levels,’ said Mendes. “With Mr. Commisso’s purchase of the club, I feel reassured that the team will continue in the direction we had always planned, bringing good quality soccer to the field and helping to grow the sport in our country.”
Mendes is referring to the recent acquisition of the Cosmos by Rocco B. Commisso, former collegiate soccer player at Columbia University and long-term supporter of that school’s soccer program. He is currently chairman and CEO of Mediacom Communications Corporation, a company he founded in 1995 to acquire and reinvigorate cable systems in the nation’s underserved smaller communities.
Giovanni Savarese, New York’s head coach and sporting director, said of Mendes, “Carlos is unique both on and off the field and his role as captain is more important than ever now. His experience and leadership will be key to maintaining the winning culture we have developed in this new era of the New York Cosmos.
Mendes started his professional soccer career with the Long Island Rough Riders in 2002, where he made 10 appearances before moving on to the Rochester Rhinos. In 2005, Mendes joined the New York Red Bulls where he made 146 appearances over six seasons. He then had a brief stint at Columbus Crew in 2012 before he joined the New York Cosmos as captain in 2013.
Last season Mendes became the first player in the club’s reboot era to reach 100 games played and was named in the NASL’s Best XI for the third straight season.