January 27, 2017
ROOM FOR TWO MORE
Holt, Velela re-sign with the Cosmos
NEW YORK – The Cosmos continued to add players from their 2016 North American Soccer League championship side Friday, announcing that goalkeeper Brian Holt and defender Alexis Velela had signed with the club.
|Brian Holt: “I’ve enjoyed my time with the team so once the opportunity to return came up I definitely wanted to be part of the season ahead."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
As per club policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.
“Brian played an important role for the club as part of the goalkeeper roster last year,” Cosmos head coach and sporting director Giovanni Savarese said. “Alexis is a young player, versatile with strong technical qualities who has developed a lot over the last year. I am very pleased to have them both back on our team."
Holt and Velela became the sixth and seventh Cosmos to rejoin the team after it was forced to release most of its players due to severe financial difficulties late last year.
They join 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.
Holt, 28, was signed by the club as a reserve goalkeeper in 2015 following a trial during preseason fixtures in Hong Kong and California. In 2014 he was a reserve goalkeeper with Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union, competing for two Union developmental affiliates: the Harrisburg City Islanders of USL and Reading United of USL PDL. In 2012 Holt helped Harrisburg reach quarterfinal play in the Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup.
A four-year starter at Creighton University, Holt set an NCAA record with a .208 goals against average as a senior in 2011 while leading the NCAA with 19 shutouts and a 92.3 save percentage.
“I’ve enjoyed my time with the team so once the opportunity to return came up I definitely wanted to be part of the season ahead," Holt said.
Velela, 18, is a San Diego, Calif. native who can play several positions (defender, fullback and central midfield) and has also been part of the U.S. youth national team program since 2011. He was recently part of the 2016 Slovakia Cup winning team. He started every match for the U.S. U-17 team in the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship and also previously appeared in tournaments such as the 2013 Delle Nazioni in Italy and Copa Mexico de Naciones in Mexico.
Velela joined the club from San Diego Nomads Soccer Club. He played on the club’s U.S. Development Academy U15/16 team and was captain of the Cal South 98 ODP/Pro+ Team in 2011 and 2012.
“I’m happy to be back with the team,” Velela said. “I feel like I’ve developed a lot as a player since I’ve been here and I’m looking forward to contributing to the team this season."