BY DAVE MARTINEZ
After a relatively quiet start to the winter, the New York Cosmos have gone on an acquisition spree. Thursday morning, the team announced further reinforcements with the signing of former Toronto FC striker/midfielder Peri Marosevic and Guatemalan striker Henry Lopez.
Both players were acquired after taking part in the team’s first player combine, which attracted some 500 applicants but only featured 200 trialists.
“The quality at the combine was impressive and these players showed very well over the weekend,” Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese said. “They are clearly comfortable with the ball at their feet and they each have decent experience for their ages. These two strengthen us up front and give us different options.”
Marosevic, 23, is the fifth signing for the Cosmos with experience at the MLS level. The U-20 standout earned a Generation Adidas contract and was picked 5th in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft by FC Dallas. From there, the young striker joined the Toronto FC organization, where he made a strong impression, scoring two goals through seven league matches.
The following season, he was offered a chance to return to the team with a new contract deal. Though he treasured his time with the club, he decided to give Europe a try.
It was a decision he would regret taking. After being led towards promises with clubs that fell through (or didn’t exist in the first place), the young striker went ten months desperately trying to latch on with a club.
“It was difficult being misguided,” Marosevic admitted. Still, after his long journey, he found a home with Croatian second division side NK Junak Sini in October of 2012.
“Some things may not have worked the way I wanted to, some have but today here I am a member of the New York Cosmos and that is very exciting for me.
“I am not going to look into the past. I am a very positive person and look more towards the present moment and moving forward and trying to learn from everything I have been through.”
He is joined by 20-year-old Guatemalan striker Henry Lopez, the scorer of the game-winning goal against the U.S. U-20 team that eliminated the United States and booked his country’s trip to the 2011 U-20 World Cup. He has also made four appearances with the Guatemalan senior national team.
Both players join a budding stable of players including four former MLS players (Carlos Mendes, Hunter Freeman, Kyle Reynish and Korey Veeder), midfielder Ayoze (formerly of La Liga side Sporting Gijon) and members of the Cosmos’ former PDL side (Dane Murphy and Stefan Dimitrov.
The Cosmos are set to return to action for the Fall NASL Championship, opening up at home against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers on August 3rd at Hofstra University.