January 26, 2017
Surprise! Szetela, who left Cosmos for Deltas, returns to 2-time defendinng NASL champions
By Michael Lewis
|Danny Szetela: "I’m looking forward to another run for the championship and being around my family and friends who have been a huge support in my career."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Over the past seven days the Cosmos have re-signed five players from their 2016 championship team, but perhaps the biggest surprise to date was Thursday.
Danny Szetela has returned to the team after he had signed with the San Francisco Deltas, a North American Soccer League expansion team Dec. 21.
The two-time defending NASL champions announced the return of the veteran midfielder.
Along with most of the roster, Szetela had been released by the Cosmos after the team endured difficult financial difficulties late last year. He signed with the Deltas, who will start their first season in April.
The Cosmos paid an undisclosed transfer fee to the Deltas for Clifton, N.J. native, according to a league source.
"Danny signed an agreement with us when his original club's future was not clear," Deltas head coach Marco Santos said in a press release. "Things have changed and Danny expressed his desire to return to New York. We want to make sure that all players playing for us are totally committed to this project. We wish him well."
So did the Cosmos.
“I’m very pleased that we were able to bring Danny back to the team. He is an experienced player and has contributed a lot to this team over the last few years,” Cosmos head coach and sporting director Giovanni Savarese said. “I’d also like to thank the San Francisco Deltas for helping to make this transition seamless."
Szetela, 29, has been a regular starter in central midfield for the Cosmos since joining the team in 2013. He has been part of all three championship seasons since the team’s reboot in 2013, including back-to-back titles the last two seasons.
“The Cosmos have been a big part of my life for a long time. I have many special memories here, including three title wins," Szetela said. "I’m looking forward to another run for the championship and being around my family and friends who have been a huge support in my career."
Szetela became the fifth former Cosmos on the roster to return to the club, joining team captain and central defender Carlos Mendes, defenders Jimmy Mulligan, goalkeeper Kyle Zobeck and El Salvadoran captain and midfielder Andres Flores.
Venezuelan international midfielder Juan Guerra also has agreed to terms with the club.
Only three players remained with the team after the rest of the squad was released. They were defender David Ochieng, defender Ryan Richter, who converted the game-winning penalty kick in the shootout to clinch the NASL title for the Cosmos, and Eric Carvilho.
Szetela was among nine former Cosmos have signed with other teams. Midfielder Adam Moffat most recently hooked up with the Sacramento Republic (United Soccer League). NASL MVP Juan Arango, a midfielder, and forward Yohandry Orozco have signed with Zulia FC in their native Venezuela.
Forward Jairo Arrieta has returned to his native Costa Rica to play with Herediano. Striker Lucky Mkosana has hooked up with FK Mariehamn, the Finland champions.
Bolivian international Yasmani Duk agreed to terms with Al Ettifaq in Saudi Arabia. Seattle Sounders defender Jimmy Ockford, who played on loan last season, signed Reno 1868 FC (USL) and defender-midfielder David Diosa has agreed to a deal with Energy FC (USL).
Assistant coach Carlos Llamosa also won't be back. He has taken on similar responsibilities with the New England Revolution (MLS).