By IVES GALARCEP
The New York Cosmos have been making an effort to establish their ties to the area with the additions of players with local roots. They have now added another player from the New York/New Jersey area, and one who they are hoping they can help resurrect his career.
The Cosmos have signed for Columbus Crew and U.S. Olympic Team midfielder Danny Szetela, the club announced on Monday.
A native of Clifton, New Jersey, Szetela has been out of the spotlight since a knee injury derailed his career, forcing him out of the game for the better part of three years. He last played professionally for D.C. United, where he suffered the knee injury that sidelined him, after a lengthy stint with the Columbus Crew and time with Italian club Brescia.
“Danny worked very hard in training this whole month and has shown us he is dedicated to getting back on the field,” Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese said. “One of the great things about Danny is the big-game, high-pressure situations he has played in before. Those experiences are paramount and skills you can’t teach. He also brings great tactical skill that is going to help us in the middle of the field. “
Szetela, 26, first made headlines as a star on the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team that featured the likes of Freddy Adu and Eddie Gaven. After signing with MLS and joining the Crew at the age of 16, Szetela boosted his career with a strong showing in the 2007 Under-20 World Cup, starring alongside current U.S. Men’s National Teamers Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore.
Along the way, Szetela earned three caps with the U.S. Men’s National Team and also featured in the 2008 Olympics. He parlayed his youth national team success into a transfer to Spanish club Racing Santander, then a La Liga club, but struggled to find playing time and ultimately made a moderately successful move to Italian Serie B side Brescia.
Szetela returned to MLS in 2009, signing with D.C. United, but a serious knee injury limited him to just four appearances before being released in 2010.
Continued issues with his knee led to major knee surgery, but persistent pain kept him from resuming his career until after successful knee surgery finally corrected the issues he was having.
Szetela will battle for playing time in a midfield that will also feature former Spanish National Team star Marco Senna, as well as Brazilian Paolo Mendes.
What do you think of this development? Glad to see Szetela returning to action? Think he can still fulfill the lofty expectations of his successful youth national team career?
Share your thoughts below.