By Michael Lewis Editor

The Cosmos have a history of having national team captains and they’re about to get another.

During their glory, glory days, Brazil’s Carlos Alberto and West Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer helped the club wins league titles and international fame after leading their respective countries to World Cup championships.

Next week, another national team skipper is slated to join the team — Albanian captain Ansi Agolli, who is expected to give the Cosmos more backline experience.

The 36-year-old Agolli will join the National Premier Soccer League side next week, according to Albanian website

Agolli, who can play as a left back or left midfielder, could be in a position to train with the team as early as Monday, according to a U.S. soccer source.

During a 19-year professional career that included stints with Albanian, Swiss, Finnish, Ukrainian, Azerbaijan clubs, Agolli has made more than 400 first-team appearances in league matches.

He started his career with a six-year stint with Tirana in his native country through 2005 before playing with Apolonia Fier on Loan. He then spent a season apiece in Switzerland with Neuchatel Xamax and Luzern before joining VPS (Finland) for two seasons starting in 2007.

After returning to Tirana for a year in 2008, Agolli performed for Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih (Ukraine) for three years. He then found a home with Qarabag (Azerbaijan, making 202 appearances over the past nine years, being named Qarabag player of the 2014-15 season.

Agolli has been a part of 15 championship teams. In Albania, he has won the Superliga three times, the Albanian Cup twice and the and Supercup on three occasions. In Azerbaijan, he has helped Qarabag to the Premier League crown four times, Azerbaijan Cup on three occasions and competed in the 2014-15 UEFA Europa Cup.

Since joining the national team in 2005, Agolli has been capped 73 times while scoring three goals and captaining the squad during Euro 2016.

The 2019 version of the Cosmos has another national team captain — Elmont High School graduate and forward Aaron Dennis, who will skipper the U.S. Virgin Islands national side against Anguilla in a Concacaf Nations League match Friday, March 22.

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at