Niko Kranjcar Training With Cosmos

Croatia international and former Tottenham, Portsmouth central midfielder with club for preseason camp
Published Feb 3, 2016

As New York Cosmos players reconvened for their first week of preseason training, unattached attacking midfielder Niko Kranjcar joined the squad at practice Wednesday. The club invited the Croatian playmaker to train in New York after he expressed the desire to maintain his fitness level in a soccer environment.

“Niko is looking to maintain his fitness. We saw it as the perfect opportunity to invite him to train with us during the preseason,” said Cosmos Head Coach and Sporting Director Giovanni Savarese. “We are looking forward to having his quality in training for the next few weeks.”

“Training with the New York Cosmos allows me to focus on getting back to fitness and potentially get some competitive game time during preseason,” Kranjcar said. “New York is a great place, so the opportunity to focus on my football and experience this city is one that suits me perfectly right now.”

Born in Zagreb, at 17 years old Kranjcar became the youngest-ever captain of his hometown club, Dinamo Zagreb. He moved to England in 2006 with Premier League side Portsmouth FC, winning the FA Cup under Harry Redknapp during the 2007-08 campaign. Kranjcar would go on to play for Redknapp at Tottenham Hotspur from 2009-12 and Queens Park Rangers from 2013-15, where he was on loan from Dynamo Kyiv.

Kranjcar, 31, has represented his country at every level, first as an Under-16 player in 2000. He debuted for Croatia’s senior national team in 2004 and has 81 caps and 16 goals to date, which are the tenth-highest and sixth-highest totals, respectively, in the history of the national team. Kranjcar was a member of Croatia’s 2006 World Cup squad and two UEFA European Championship sides (2008, 2012).

The Cosmos will begin their preseason schedule with a match against Armenian club FC Ararat Yerevan on Saturday, Feb. 20 at Citrus College Stadium in Glendora, Calif. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. PT (10 p.m. ET).