Carlos Mendes captained the Cosmos for five seasons. (Andy Mead/YCJ Photo)
By Michael Lewis
It’s 58 days to the Cosmos B’s National Premier Soccer League season opener and the team doesn’t have a head coach just yet.
From what I have gathered that is expected to be taken care of soon.
So, who should coach the team?
Well, I have the perfect candidate and if the team doesn’t pursue and sign him I will be deeply disappointed.
In fact, his name should be familiar to all Cosmos supporters and many soccer fans in the metropolitan area:
The former Cosmos captain and defender has been around the block and then some, completing a 16-year pro career after New York lost in the North American Soccer League championship game in 2017.
I have known the 37-year-old Mendes since he turned pro with the Long Island Rough Riders in 2002 and he has always had a professional demeanor before assuming the Cosmos captaincy when the team returned to competitive soccer in 2013.
He was a damn good leader, helping the team to three NASL titles in three years. Now, being a good captain doesn’t necessarily mean a player will become a good coach. But I have a gut feeling Mendes will do just fine because he has been a student of the game.
Heck, he’s had some really good, high-profile and knowledgeable mentors.
“I’m very, very lucky,” Mendes said. “I’ve been very, very lucky to play for some unbelievable coaches, some successful coaches that really helped me throughout my career and helped me so much.”
Do these names ring a bell or two?
Bob Bradley, Bruce Arena, Giovanni Savarese, Paul Riley, Pat Ercoli, Juan Carlos Osorio and Robert Warzycha.
Not too shabby.
The Cosmos B squad will open up at Boston City FC in Harry Della Russo Stadium Saturday, May 5 at 7 p.m. The team will host the rival Brooklyn Italians at the Mitchel Athletic Complex, Tuesday, May 15 at 8 p.m., according to the NPSL website.
OK, Cosmos management, the ball is in your court, err, I mean in your penalty area.
Hire Carlos Mendes.
You certainly don’t want to disappoint me, do you?