January 31, 2017
BACK FOR MORE?
Report: Ayoze will rejoin the Cosmos
By Michael Lewis
|Ayoze could re-sign with the Cosmos as early as this week, according to a Spanish radio report.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Ayoze could be back in the Cosmos fold as early as today.
Radio MARCA Tenerife reported that the veteran defender will return to New York this week to sign a contract with the North American Soccer League team.
Ayoze was a vital member of the Soccer Bowl championship team's success in 2016, earning a berth on the league's Best XI.
The 31-year-old left back has been with the club since its reboot for the 2013 NASL fall season. Since then the Cosmos have won three league titles in four seasons.
There was speculation that Ayoze would sign with a Major League Soccer side, but that apparently never materialized.
After the Cosmos released virtually all of their players in December Ayoze lashed out against the former ownership on its financial irresponsibility.
"It has been painful, regrettable ... that they have let die like this to a historical club through which they have passed several of the best players of all times," he told the Spanish newspaper Marca Dec. 9. "It is all the fault of a disastrous management, I do not know if they realize of what ... they have achieved. We did not think it was going to disappear, but it did not surprise us, either. It was commented on during the year that the club was looking for a new owner to move on."
Ayoze noticed the cuts the team management made. Despite these obstacles, the Cosmos won their second consecutive North American Soccer League championship and third in four years.
"There were countless cuts and the sport was neglected a lot," Ayoze was quoted by Marca. "We were training in a disastrous field," says Ayoze. "We realized that the situation was more serious than we believed because payment problems arose, especially with the employees of the [front] office.
"I think the team has an incredible merit. Two irreplaceable players, like Senna and Raśl, left, a thousand extra-sports problems arose ... but we got together to get the situation ahead because we thought we would benefit individually."
Since Ayoze made those remarks, the Cosmos have a new majority owner in Rocco B. Commisso.
If Ayoze does re-up with the Cosmos, he will become the ninth former player to rejoin the team, giving the team 13 rostered players.
The other signees included captain and central defender Carlos Mendes, defenders Jimmy Mulligan and Alexis Velela, midfielders Andres Flores and Danny Szetela and goalkeepers Jimmy Maurer, Kyle Zobeck and Brian Holt.
Venezuelan international midfielder Juan Guerra also has signed.
Only three players remained with the team after the rest of the squad was released late last year. 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.