Cosmos signed Paul Blanchette, Jesse Corke, Dominick Falanga, Giuseppe Barone, Charlie Ledula (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)
NEW YORK – The Cosmos announced Monday the signings of five players — goalkeepers Paul Blanchette and Jesse Corke, defender Dominick Falanga and midfielders Giuseppe Barone and Charlie Ledula.
Blanchette, 24, is a California native that brings experience playing abroad to the club. The goalkeeper featured for Finnish club PEPO Lappeenranta, making 18 league appearances.
“We are very happy to sign Paul,” Cosmos head coach Carlos Mendes said. “He is a talented and focused individual who will compete day in and day out to push the level of the group.”
Corke, 26, is another local player added to the squad. The Valley Stream, N.Y. native played at Molloy College and most recently performed with German club Westfalia Wickede.
“Jesse has come in and proven he can play at this level and will contribute,” Mendes said. “He is a fearless ‘keeper and moves well in the net.”
Falanga, 23, is a Brooklyn, N.Y. native that was a key player at St. Francis College during his collegiate career and was selected to Northeast Conference first team All-Conference in 2017. He was a member of the Brooklyn Italians’ National Premier Soccer League side that eliminated the Cosmos from the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 2018.
“Dominick is another local product who we got to see last season with Brooklyn,” Mendes said. “He has a great mentality and is a very solid defender.”
Barone, 20, is also a Brooklyn native and played collegiately for LIU Brooklyn. The midfielder has played for the Brooklyn Italians in the NPSL the past three years.
“Giuseppe is another player we know from playing with Brooklyn last season and is very technical and great combining in the attack,” Mendes said. “He has a bright future and we believe he will continue to grow as a player with us this year.”
Ledula, 26, is a native of England but has put roots down in Long Island. He played collegiately at LIU Post and was selected as a NCAA Division II All-American First Team in 2017. Last season, Ledula featured for the Long Island Rough Riders in the United Soccer League Premier Development League (now USL League Two) and was voted the team’s player of the year after scoring 12 times in all competitions.
“Charlie’s a player who brings another dimension to our club,” Mendes said. “He’s got incredible speed and a great engine who will be able to open games up for us.”
“The recent signings we made have all been of players that have been with us since the start of preseason,” Cosmos senior vice president Joe Barone said. “They have all worked tremendously hard and earned their opportunity. The majority of them have also either grown up locally or have played locally in the past, which has been an important factor as we put together this year’s roster.’
The NPSL regular season kicks off on April 27 when New York Athletic Club visits Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale, N.Y.