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Cosmos sign U.S. U-17 defender Velela



Already touting one of the country’s best young forward prospects in Haji Wright, the New York Cosmos have now taken the step to add one of the nation’s more promising defenders.

Looking to bolster their back line for the long term, the Cosmos announced Monday that the club had signed U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team defender Alexis Velela. Velela has been part of the U.S. youth national team program since 2011 and joins from San Diego Surf Soccer Club.

“Alexis is an exciting prospect with great potential,” Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese said in a statement. “He is a young player with strong technical qualities and is capable of playing in multiple positions. We are delighted to have signed him.”

Velela, 17, is a San Diego, Calif. Native and can play defender, full back and central midfield. He started every match for the U.S. U-17 team in the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship and is expected to be named to the U.S. team for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile this October. Velela is expected to join the Cosmos after the tournament ends.

“I’m very happy about joining the New York Cosmos,” Velela said. “I spent a week with the team on trial last month and felt really comfortable with the environment. I feel this is where I can continue to develop as a player.”

What do you think of the Cosmos’ new signing? Excited to see what Velela has to offer?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Why sign with MLS when they make it so hard for players to move abroad. Sign with NASL and you are still in control of your future.

  2. I wonder if Club Tijuana had him on their radar. I’m all for kids taking their shot. NYC will be a very different environment for him and at that age, getting a decent check, hope he has the right supports in place to be successful.

    • Good question San Diego is right in their wheel house. He probably had a lot of offers, Cosmos being least restrictive to his future plans. Just a guess.

  3. Only spin here is from mls apologists – as usual.



    Support your local independent soccer clubs!


    He won’t be the last to join the Cosmos, don’t worry your little mls brains.

    • True he won’t be the last because there’ll always be young players not good enough yet for MLS who get their start at a minor league team.

      • D’oh!

        So there’s nothing between going to NASL and getting a spot on an MLS team directly? I thought MLS was the future of U.S. Soccer, but that doesn’t sound right now. Thanks for clearing that up.

        Young players may play in lower divisions in other countries, but the good ones sign with the top division when young.

        Of course, maybe he thinks it makes sense to be in control of his own career, pick what he does, train/play with Raul and Senna (and others), sign contracts with who he wants. Like they do in those other countries.

  4. Although Hempstead fans will try to spin this as a sign they are the biggest club in the universe it’s quite common in other countries for young players to start their pro careers with lower division teams. Might mean he’s get playing time sooner too. Unless a player has a European passport he can’t sign for European teams until he turns 18.

    • Sooooo . . . why didn’t he sign with THE MAJOR LEAGUES?

      How could playing with Cosmos compare?

      Also, why would ANYONE play in YURRUP? IT DOESN’T EVEN EXIST!

      Obviously a young man with brain damage, so let’s wish him the best with a minor league team. If he does very well, he can retire in MLS.

  5. don’t think they will beat any NY teams with a couple 16 yr olds, nor have they ever really developed any good young players yet either, so guess we’ll see. The Red Bulls recently developed Miazga, Davis and Lade, don’t think the cosmos have anyone yet?…

    why would anyone good go to the cosmos to play on a lacrosse turf field in long island with 3000 fans? – chielini or de rossi – keep dreaming!

    • Yes, true.

      If you exclude beating Red Bulls last year, getting robbed against Philly, and beating NYC this year, it’s obvious they will never beat any NY teams.

  6. Shame these guys weren’t even good enough for MLS.

    The route to a great soccer career is through modern day NASL…said no one ever.

    Better off going to holland or Germany

  7. really excited! great signign and hope they can beat the redbull and fc this year!

    now if they could get chiellini or de rossi!


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