Cosmos B Announces 2017 Roster

A Columbia University grad, the 2016 National Gatorade Player of the Year and an MLS Draft pick highlight those to join six returning players from the 2016 roster
New York Cosmos Communications | Apr 21, 2017
The New York Cosmos announced today part of their 2017 roster for New York Cosmos B, the club's reserve side competing in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL).
 
2016 Cosmos B players Jesús Álvarez, Héctor Guerrero, Kevin Tenjo, Julian Sthaler, Sebastian Capozucchi, and Matias Ruiz will be joined by striker, Bljedi Bardic, midfielders Lucas Mendes, José Nájera and Lucas Coutinho, winger Christian Thierjung and right back, Rhys Williams.
 
"Cosmos B is an integral part of the Club’s player development model,” said Technical Director, Luke Sassano. “As in years past, Cosmos B will operate as an extended arm of the first team's scouting and evaluation platform. We are excited about the potential in this group.”
 
Striker, Bljedi Bardic, is one of a few additions to the Cosmos B offense. Bardic spent his youth career in Montenegro and Albania. He joined the senior team at OFK Bar after playing for the U-17 side. Bardic then moved to the U.S., signing for the Clarkstown SC Eagles in the NPSL. He spent three seasons with the Eagles, leaving his mark with 84 goals in 64 games. He last featured for Puerto Rico FC, scoring a goal in three appearances in the 2016 Season.
 
19-year-old attacking midfielder, Lucas Mendes, was a star at Washington-Lee High School, tallying 21 goals and 12 assists in one season and helping the team win the state championship in 2016. His honors include being named 2016 National Gatorade Player of the Year and 2016 Virginia High School State Player of the Year. Mendes spent three seasons at DC United Academy, where he totaled 28 goals and 17 assists in 45 games. He joins Cosmos B less than a year after debuting for the University of Virginia Men's Soccer Team.
 
Colombian attacking midfielder, José Nájera, spent most of his professional career at Real Cartagena, helping the club gain promotion to the Primera Categoría A in 2008. With 18 goals in 73 league games, he is the club's all-time top scorer. In 2015, Nájera won the Primera B tournament with Atlético Bucaramanga. The 28-year-old has also played professionally in Venezuela and Perú. He is capped once by the Colombian Senior National Team.
 
Another great midfield addition, Lucas Coutinho, hails from Palm Beach Atlantic University. Coutinho started in all 19 matches of his senior year, scoring three goals and leading the team with 10 assists. His honors include being named to the 2016 NSCAA All-America Second Team, as well as the NSCAA All-South Region First Team. He averaged .88 assists per game during his junior year, good for third in the nation in this category.
 
Winger, Christian Thierjung, was picked by the San Jose Earthquakes in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. A University of California grad, Thierjung totaled 27 goals and 7 assists in 73 games for the Bears. During his senior year, he scored a school-record five goals on 10 shots in 71 minutes of play in the Bears' victory against Harvard.
 
Right-back, Rhys Williams, joins Cosmos B having previously graduated from Columbia University where he earned All-Ivy League second team honors during his sophomore year, as well as Ivy League Player of the Week honors in 2014 and 2015.
 
“We are still putting the final touches on this group," said Cosmos B Head Coach, Kevin Anderson. “We have some work ahead of us to uphold the standards of this storied franchise. So far, we are heading in the right direction.”
 
Cosmos B coasted to a first place finish in the Atlantic Conference at the end of the 2016 NPSL Season, making an appearance in the Semifinals of the NPSL Northeast Region playoffs.
 
See below the 2017 Cosmos B roster:
 
Name: Jesús Alvarez
Position: Left back
Height: 6-0
Weight: 170 lbs.
Born: Feb 14, 1992
Citizenship: Spain
 
Name: Bledi Bardic
Position: Striker
Height: 6-1
Weight: 175 lbs.
Born: Jan 10, 1992
Citizenship: Montenegro
 
Name: Endri Berisha
Position: Midfielder
Height: 6-0
Weight: 165 lbs.
Born: July 28, 1994
Citizenship: USA
 
Name: Héctor Guerrero
Position: Goalkeeper
Height: 6-2
Weight: 185 lbs.
Born: Jan 21, 1992
Citizenship: USA
 
Name: Lucas Mendes
Position: Attacking midfielder
Height: 5-4
Weight: 119 lbs.
Born: Dec 29, 1997
Citizenship: USA
 
Name: José Nájera
Position: Attacking midfielder
Height: 5-9
Weight: 165 lbs.
Born: Jan 29, 1988
Citizenship: Colombian
 
Name: Alejandro Penzini
Position: Center back
Height: 6-2
Weight: 176 lbs.
Born: April 29, 1993
Citizenship: Venezuelan
 
Name: Matías Ruiz
Position: Central midfielder
Height: 6-0
Weight: 172 lbs.
Born: Dec 25, 1993
Citizenship: USA
 
Name: Lucas Coutinho
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5-9
Weight: 148 lbs.
Born: Aug 12, 1993
Citizenship: Brazil
 
Name: Joshua Travagli
Position: Attacking Midfielder
Height: 6’0
Weight: 175 lbs.
Born: June 8, 1995
Citizenship: Italy
 
Name: Sebastian Capozucchi
Position: Center back
Height: 6’0
Weight: 167 lbs.
Born: 12/23/1995
Citizenship: Chilean
 
Name: Julian Stahler
Position: Left winger
Height: 6-0
Weight: 165 lbs.
Born: July 22, 1992
Citizenship: USA
 
Name: Kevin Tenjo
Position: Goalkeeper
Height: 5-11
Weight: 174 lbs.
Born: June 5, 1995
Citizenship: USA
 
Name: Christian Thierjung
Position: Forward
Height: 5-11
Weight: 165 lbs.
Born: Jan 5, 1995
Citizenship: USA
 
Name: Rhys Williams
Position: Right back
Height: 6-0
Weight: 170 lbs.
Born: Aug 9, 1995
Citizenship: USA
 
Name: Diego Hurtado
Position: Right Winger
Height: 5-7
Weight: 155lbs.
Born: June 10, 1993
Citizenship: USA
 
Name: David Nigro
Position: Midfielder
Height: 6'1''
Weight: 175 lbs
Born: May 18, 1995
Citizenship: USA
 
Name: Paxton Ballard
Position: Defender
Height: 6'2''
Weight: 180 lbs
Born: April 17, 1992
Citizenship: USA
 
Name: Danilo Radjen
Position: Defender
Height: 6'2''
Weight: 180 lbs
Born: June 22, 1994
Citizenship: USA
 
The remaining of the 2017 Cosmos B roster will be announced in the next few weeks.  New York Cosmos B will play in the Northeast Region’s North Atlantic Conference. Their 2017 opponents will include the Brooklyn Italians, Elm City Express, Greater Lowell NPSL FC, Seacoast United Phantoms and TSF FC.
 
Cosmos B will travel to Malden Catholic High School in Malden, MA to face Boston City FC on Saturday, April 29th at 7:00 pm, when they open their 2017 NPSL Season. The team will then host Elm City Express at Mitchel Athletic Field on Saturday, May 13th at 1:00 pm.
 
 

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