Emmanuele Sembroni: “When I heard about the opportunity, I didn’t have to think twice.” (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)

The Cosmos Friday announced the signing of defender Emmanuele Sembroni.

Sembroni has been training with the club since last month.

“It is a big honor for me to represent such a great club as the New York Cosmos,” Sembroni said. “When I heard about the opportunity, I didn’t have to think twice. I would love to thank Joe Barone, coach Carlos Mendes, and all the staff for the opportunity to be a part of this prestigious club. I also would love to thank captain Danny Szetela and Bledi Bardic for being a second family and helping me and my wife transition during this time.

“I join the Cosmos bringing all of my experience and enthusiasm, and I’m here to compete to win all the competitions that we have. We represent a prestigious club and that’s what our mentality will have to be: Step-by-step, day-by-day, to be remembered.”

The veteran defender began his career growing up in the youth ranks of Italian side Pescara as well as spending time with the Sampdoria Academy. He made his professional debut with Pescara in 2008, playing in Serie B.

The 31-year-old Sembroni represented Italy at the Under-18 and U-20 levels, playing the majority of his career in his native country, also featuring in the Swiss Premier League when he played for FC Chiasso in 2014-15.

“Emmanuele is an experienced professional who brings tremendous leadership to our back line and gives our team a strong mentality,” Cosmos coach Carlos Mendes said. “He’s comfortable on the ball to play out of the back and is tactically sound. We’re happy to have him join the team.”

Added Cosmos senior vice president Joe Barone: “We have a lot of young players and Emmanuele adds an important veteran presence in the locker room. He has been with us since the start of preseason and will have a very positive impact on the team this season.”

The Cosmos host the New York Athletic Club in their National Premier Soccer League season opener at the Mitchel Athletic Complex Saturday, April 27 at 7 p.m.

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 Guardian.com. Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of BigAppleSoccer.com. 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 Amazon.com.