The New York Cosmos announced today the return of goalkeeper Brian Holt and defender Alexis Velela. 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,” said Cosmos Head Coach and Sporting Director Giovanni Savarese. “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,” he added.
Brian 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.
Holt commented: “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”.
Velela, 18, is a San Diego, Calif. native who can play several positions (defender, full back and central midfield) and has also been part of the U.S. youth national team program since 2011 and was recently part of the 2016 Slovakia Cup winning squad. 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,” said Alexis Velela. “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,” he added.