By Michael Lewis
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Giovanni Savarese is keeping his fingers crossed.
If everything goes correctly, two players who are expected to play key roles during the North American Soccer League season will join the teams sometime this week.
After Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Miami FC Saturday, the Cosmos head coach admitted he wasn’t certain when midfielders Javi Marquez and Juan Arango would arrive.
Marquez has been delayed by a visa situation and eye surgery that he recently had. The Spanish midfielder recorded two goals and two assists during the spring season.
“He’s in perfect condition right now,” Savarese said. “His visa should be ready by Monday, so I think Monday he should be ready to be here.”
The 37-year-old Arango’s travel plans could be out of his hands, given the current tense political situation in Venezuela. They held elections in the South American country Sunday as one candidate was shot to death.
“Arango, we’ll see because the situation right now in Venezuela is not ideal,” Savarese said, adding that Sunday was “going to be a very important day for Venezuela. So we’ll see what’s going to happen after [Sunday]. But we also hope by the middle of end of next week, hopefully he should be able to be back here.”
Having a player of Arango’s stature would help the Cosmos immensely in their quest of making the NASL playoffs and securing a third consecutive NASL crown. Last year the former Venezuelan international midfielder captured the Golden Ball as league MVP. A similar performance would give the team a much-needed lift the rest of the season.