The New York Cosmos announced on Thursday that defender Carlos Mendes will return to the club and continue as team captain. As per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“At the Cosmos, we’ve always conducted ourselves as a family, so the last few months have been extremely difficult on many levels,’ said Mendes. “With Mr. Commisso’s purchase of the club, I feel reassured that the team will continue in the direction we had always planned, bringing good quality soccer to the field and helping to grow the sport in our country,” he added.
Mendes, 36, is a Long Island native who joined the club from MLS side Columbus Crew in 2013. The defender has enjoyed an accomplished career so far and continues to lead the reigning champions of the North American Soccer League (NASL), having won their second consecutive NASL Championship and third overall in four seasons.
“Carlos is unique both on and off the field and his role as captain is more important than ever now” said Cosmos Head Coach and Sporting Director Giovanni Savarese. “As a player he continues to show exceptional quality and consistency. His experience and leadership will be key to maintaining the winning culture we have developed in this new era of the New York Cosmos,” continued Savarese.
Mendes started his professional soccer career with the Long Island Rough Riders in 2002, where he made ten appearances before moving on to the Rochester Rhinos. In 2005, Mendes joined the New York Red Bulls where he made 146 appearances over six seasons. He then had a brief stint at Columbus Crew in 2012 before he joined the New York Cosmos as captain in 2013.
Last season Mendes became the first player in the club’s reboot era to reach 100 games played and was named in the NASL’s Best XI, his third straight selection for this accolade.
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