NISA Season Preview: Cosmos Goalkeepers bring strong mentality, experience

Published Aug 13, 2020

As the Cosmos begin their final preparations for their home opener against the Michigan Stars, we’re taking a look at the players that are looking to make an impact on every part of the pitch this summer. First up – the four guys in-between the sticks.

“For us it’s really about the communication,” said goalkeeping coach, Stephan Riguad, of the club’s expectations this summer. “How they lead, how they keep the defense organized. Additionally, we’re making sure that they can keep a high level of focus when called upon to make one of those important saves late in a match.”

Headling the ‘keeper quartet and returning for his second season is local product Jesse Corke. Corke, 27, featured in the club’s NPSL and NPSL Members Cup campaigns in addition to starting both NISA Independent Cup matches this summer. An alumnus of Molloy College, Corke first joined the Cosmos last April following a successful stint in Germany with with Westfalia Wickede.

“Jesse takes pride in what he does and wants to keep getting better,” goalkeeping coach Rigaud noted. “He definitely has the respect of all his teammates.”

Newcomer Steward Ceus, 33, comes to the Cosmos with extensive experience in the USL, as well as in CONCACAF with the Haitian National Team. For Cosmos goalkeeping coach, Stephan Rigaud, Ceus’ intangibles are just as important as his experience.

“Steward is a big guy with a big presence in goal,” said Rigaud. “He naturally covers a lot of space, which throws off attackers. Since he’s arrived, Stew has been a great teammate and brings really good energy to the group. He wants to keep improving and keep pushing the other goalkeepers.”

Kevin Tenjo returns to the Cosmos for his fifth season following a short stint with the Milwaukee Torrent last summer. The 25-year-old’s most notable contribution came in 2018, making two saves in penalties to earn Cosmos B the North Atlantic Conference title. For Rigaud, Tenjo’s mentality is an asset to the rest of his goalkeepers.

“Kevin has a very serious mindset and is really focused,” Rigaud said. “He has a really good mentality and approaches every session in a professional manner. He likes to come off his line, which he does to great effect.”

Gianfranco Barone, 22, rounds out the goalkeeping core this summer. A recent graduate from Stonybrook University, Barone started one game with the Milwaukee Torrent in the National Premier Soccer League last season. A native of Howard Beach, Rigaud loves what he’s seen so far from the young netminder.

“Gianfranco is young and has a lot of potential. He has great feet, very good distribution,” Rigaud said. “With some time and experience, I think he can go far.”