By DAN KARELL
It didn’t take long for Satoru Kashiwase to make up his mind.
About a month ago, the Director of Football at J-League side Shimizu S-Pulse, Yasushi Hara, came up to Kashiwase and asked the 20-year-old forward if he’d be interested in a move to the United States.
Within a few days of that conversation, Kashiwase was on his way to New York, where on Monday he was announced as the New York Cosmos’s latest signing, a loan move that makes him the youngest native Japanese player to ever play soccer in North America.
“I was very surprised at first,” Kashiwase said through a translator. “But at the same time I knew that the soccer level in the United States is growing, and I took it as an opportunity. I wanted to go right away, I wanted to be a part of the team.”
As a forward, the 6-foot-tall Kashiwase said he was excited to come to a club with an outstanding history of goal scoring strikers, the likes of Pele, Giorgio Chinaglia, and Mordechai Spiegler all wearing the colors of the Cosmos in the past.
In addition, the Chiba, Japan, native will be playing for Giovanni Savarese, an original member of the New York Metrostars and a Venezuela international striker during his nearly 18 year professional career.
“I am excited to be coached by someone that’s a forward and knows how to score goals,” Kashiwase said of Savarese. “I have been getting tips already from (Savarese) and I hope that will it help me a lot down the road.”
Savarese himself echoed those sentiments, saying he was looking forward to working with a player who is also worthy of a potential place in Japan’s national team.
“This is definitely a special opportunity for our soccer club, to bring a young talent like Satoru to the U.S.,” Savarese said in a statement on the Cosmos website. “He is a very technically gifted goal-scorer and we’re excited to be a part of his developmental process.”
Kashiwase has played for the Japanese Under-17 and Under-18 national teams before, but when asked about a player he’d like to model himself after, Kashiwase said his idol was one of the greatest Dutch forwards of all time.
“The player I like is Ruud Van Nistelrooy,” Kashiwase said. “Van Nistelrooy is not very big, speedy, or strong, but his goals are very impressive. The way he is aggressive towards the goal, the way he opens himself up in front of the goal, that’s something I want to learn from.”
While the Cosmos certainly aren’t getting a player of Van Nistelrooy’s quality, Kashiwase is going to have to prove his worth, as he becomes the fifth forward on the team and will need to work hard to get a regular place on the field.
Even more, as a Japanese native, he’s going to be watched closely by the Japanese community in New York and maybe all around the country, adding more pressure on the young man’s plate.
“I feel that being the youngest Japanese player in America, I’m going to get a lot of attention from the Japanese and Asian community,” Kashiwase said. ” I want to play hard every game and score a lot of goals for them.”
As the Cosmos gear up for their return to professional soccer on August 3, Kashiwase said he was thrilled to be on a club with so much history, and already wants to give back to the club for being so welcoming in his first few weeks in New York.
“I’m happy to be a part of the team that has made a huge comeback and be a part of that starting group. I’m excited about my personal goals, but that of the group as well,” Kashiwase said. “All the (Cosmos) staff members are nice and they are treating me very well, so I want to succeed here to even more to thank them.”
Before he left his club in Japan, the general manager Hara offered Satoru some words of advice.
“(Hara) told me to learn as much as possible in front of the net, and score as many goals as I could,” Kashiwase said.
And the Cosmos’ signing of Senna is now official.
Can we all stope using “THE MLS” when talking about MLS. Who plays in “The Major League Soccer”?
Done spazzing now. Thanks.
NASL plans to spend big over next 5-10 years. Here is an illuminating interview with Cosmos COO Erik Stover. His main point being that MLS’s single entity approach is outdated at this point:
The New York Cosmos WILL return to GLORY!!!
HAIL New York Cosmos!!!
1971 called, they want y— oh, hello 1971.
They could not afford to pay the phone bill (poor league management) and the line was disconnected.
“I’m happy to be a part of the team that has made a huge comeback and be a part of that starting group.” What part of that makes you think he’s unaware of the Cosmos current state of affairs? He calls it a STARTING GROUP, which is exactly what the Cosmos are right now. The NASL provides an opportunity to play professional soccer, and some players take those opportunities. I don’t know why this is so completely inconceivable to some of you.
18yrs & no trophy! if I waved flag for the RB, I would bury my head in the sand. But I’m not, so carry on.
I just got $110 from an email spam settlement against Red Bull. What have NYCFC and the Cosmos done for me? Nothin’.
this is the most painful SBI comment section i have ever seen.
actually “cringe-worthy” is a better word.
I agree. These smug MLS fanboys sure are annoying.
Mordechai Spiegler? I did not know that he was one of the all time great Cosmos scorers.
He’s a legend.
All y’all haters are just bitter that the cosmos aren’t in mls and u have to root for the red bulls. THE RED BULLS!
Agreed. NASL has no salary cap and a group of moneyed owners with very large ambitions. They also have the advantage of arrogant, dismissive competition. The more comments I read from these rabid fans of Soft Drink NY and Man City USA, the more I hope their cornball league takes a big hit from NASL competition.
pay them no mind, they are interlopers. They build & will build in the swamp. One team (NYCFC), is trolling the internet begging for Supporter’s Club, the other team (RBNJ, the whiners), can’t figure out why NY’ers don’t want to come to their stadium when “it’s just 25mins from Manhattan”. Laugh at ’em, mock ’em, then have another cold one. Viva Cosmos!!
A group of monied owners? Name two that aren’t a thinly veiled front for a Saudi princeling?
You make the NASL sound a lot like the USFL. I wonder how that turned out.
Laugh as much as you can, now. Cause you’ll be crying later.
hahahaha. Thanks for the laugh.
I prefer to think of the NASL as the ABA/AFL, how did that turn out?
“As a forward, the 6-foot-tall Kashiwase said he was excited to come to a club with an outstanding history of goal scoring strikers, the likes of Pele, Giorgio Chinaglia, and Mordechai Spiegler all wearing the colors of the Cosmos in the past.”
Someone needs to tell him that playing for the present-day Cosmos is more like playing bass for a Led Zeppelin tribute band, not playing lead guitar for Led Zeppelin.
Ives, I admire the enthusiasm with this once storied franchise but I just can’t get myself to get excited with a club that is playing in the 2nd tier of professional soccer in the US. It’s like rooting for a team in the nPower Championship instead of the EPL. I followed Chinaglia, Ricky Davis and Bogicevic during the Cosmos heydays of the ’80s; the present day Cosmos can’t even hold a candle to the ’80s Cosmos. Until the present day Cosmos makes it to the MLS, I have no other recourse but to continue rooting for the snake bitten NYRB.
“It’s like rooting for a team in the nPower Championship instead of the EPL.”
Umm, there are people who do exactly that. Just like there are people who root for college football teams even though they aren’t in the NFL. Ya see, there is this thing called loyalty. You might not understand the concept but think of it as the opposite of being a bandwagon fan who supports the biggest team in their country or area “just cuz” or “just cuz they win most of the time”. But, by all means, continue supporting for the NYRB, you sound like a real diehard fan. I’m sure the Cosmos will have at least a few fans who support their club as much, if not more, than you support the NYRB.
You are in no position to judge me about loyalty. Your analogy about rooting for college teams instead of the NFL is flawed and way off base since you are comparing teams that are not playing in the same level. If given the option, ALL nPower teams would easily take the opportunity in a heartbeat to play in the EPL but since they are not good enough, they can’t. College teams, on the other hand, do not have the option to be promoted to the NFL. So next time you make an analogy, at least make it a credible one. And your sarcastic, condescending and defensive reply to my opinions is a reflection of your insecurities about your own beliefs on your own position since you cannot accept that people have differing opinions about different matters.
Well this escalated rather quickly.
Have you seen the amount of hits and comments every Cosmos story gets here? Clearly, people are interested. Why blame Ives for posting stories that get read and responded to?
What National Team? According to his wiki page he played a grand total of 0 senior games on club level and 1 game for U18 team. His pedigree is way below that of 18-year old Moreno from RBNY. Everything with Cosmos is just a huge hyperbole
That makes no sense. Ur basically saying they have the same amount of pedigree based on their youth national team experiences
Same, lower, who cares? I am just saying that this guy is nobody yet and they mention National Team
All i gotta say, it looks like cosmos will tear nasl apart and if cosmos fans, pack their stadium and are alike to timbers,sounders, or even like rsl fans, it will be tough to beat and win at cosmos field.i also see cosmos being the galaxy and red bulls nasl, maybe signing some soccer stars with experience and skills, like a nesta or even becks. I evrn think, becks can play for a season with cosmos, since its d2 and not mls.
This post is so all over the place, I don’t even know where to begin.
Well let’s start with this. If you saw the US match last night and expect Hofstra to sound like that, you’re going to be pretty disappointed. And even though this kid is just a J-League benchwarmer, I’m sure he’s played in more impressive venues than Hempstead.
It wont sound like the US game, because Hofstra doesn’t have a stadium sound system to mic the home end. 🙂
Cant wait for Cosmos and Rowdies to renew their rivalry. Kashiwasi will be amazed when he walks out onto Al Lang Stadium.
Does Kashiwasi know that the Cosmos are not in MLS?
I don’t think his translator has broken the news to him yet. Poor guy 🙁
They are going to film a reality show as he goes along, right? He’ll figure it out about 1/2 way through the season.
Stop it!. Just spit out my food! I wonder if he knows that team hasn’t played in years?
Getting tired of you self centered MLS snobs. Arrogance is MLS’s weakness. Keep talking, gons. NASL gonna put the SMACKDOWN on yer precious little single entity league.. Just wait and see.
Goons, not gons. But whatever. You know what you are.
Do you really believe this?
This doesn’t make sense because any lower division team that is good enough and ambitious enough and is in a decent sized market with rich owners will end up in MLS.
Not if MLS continues to demand ownership of their brand, merchandising profits, and players – unlike any other league in the world. Not to mention the restrictive salary caps. Do your home work.
You are delusional. MLS is USSF sanctioned top division. That’s not going to change anytime soon, no matter how much or how often you wish for it to be true.
American fans pack stadiums when good players, who currently play for European clubs, come over here for friendlies. NBC Sports Network is paying tons of money for TV rights to Premiere League games – featuring world class players. The market for world class soccer exists in the US. MLS is still living in the early ’90s with their restrictions on spending and club autonomy. This is an opportunity NASL recognizes and their long term plan over the next is to take advantage of it by becoming the league that features world class players in their prime.
C’mon now. The NASL won’t ever become bigger than the MLS. If anything the MLS will eventually allow the owners of MLS clubs to spend “freely”,within reason, and acquire world class talent in their “prime”. That is probably inevitable down the road (another decade?) but in order to become what it has today, the MLS has to make intelligent business decisions to maintain stability and grow at a realistic, sustainable pace. This is pretty much common knowledge if you know what you’re talking about. Will teams like the Cosmos, with deep pockets and legitimate ambition eventually join the MLS? Definite possibility down the road, if they can maintain solid home game attendance. While other organizations will squander and are moved to other cities (Chivas USA) or “fold” and re-join NASL. In 20 years the MLS will be more lucrative and popular than the NBA and NHL unless something drastic happens. -Common sense Snob
Slow down there cowboy…
MAYBE (and I cannot understate the size of that “maybe”) in 20 years MLS will surpass NHL in terms of the American sports hierarchy but never will it be more popular than the NBA, NFL, and MLB for that matter.
Being 4th best out of the 5 major sports leagues is a good, realistic goal for MLS
Marca didn’t know, either, in their first article about Senna leaving for the US.