Danny Szetela: “After speaking to family, I know I have a lot left in the tank. Obviously, I want to finish my career as a Cosmos.” (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)
By Michael Lewis
UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Danny Szetela wants to play professional soccer next year, but whether he could be might out of his hands.
“I think for me, the last four years, every year its always like we’re not sure what’s going to happen next year,” he Cosmos captain said after training at Mitchel Athletic Complex Thursday morning. “I’m 32, I want to continue to play. I have thought about retirement.”
At the present time, the Cosmos don’t have a league in which to play in 2020. The National Premier Soccer League has stated it won’t take players with professional contracts and the team is weighing its options on whether it will compete in the National Independent Soccer Association or perhaps another league.
Szetela has performed with the Cosmos since the team’s reboot in 2013. He has skippered the current squad that has competed in the NPSL the last two years and most recently, the NPSL Members Cup.
“After speaking to family, I know I have a lot left in the tank,” he said. “Obviously, I want to finish my career as a Cosmos and if there is a chance I can continue to play here, this is where I want to continue to play. If we don’t play next year, then that might be something I would consider retiring. If it’s something that the Cosmos have to take a year off, I think I wouldn’t be coming back, at least not as a player.”
Before he comes close to making a final decision on his career, the Clifton, N.J. native has some important matters on his mind. In a confrontation of unbeaten teams, the first-place Cosmos (6-0-2, 20 points) host second-place Detroit City FC (6-0-1, 19) at Mitchell Saturday at 7 p.m. Detroit City FC has a game in hand.
“My focus right now is just on winning this game Saturday against Detroit,” Szetela said. “Win against Detroit, win against Napa and hopefully we can become champions. I’m excited for this weekend. It’s another opportunity to play in a big game that is a must-win [situation] for us and go forward.”
Szetela, who played for three Cosmos championship sides (2-13, 2015 and 2016) in the North American Soccer League added: “Personally, it’s a big game for me. With everything going on with the club and not 100 percent sure what’s going to happen next year, [and] losing the NPSL final, this is our chance to win the championship. And maybe for me, this could be my last. Who knows? It depends on on what happens. This is another big game, a big opportunity for myself and also for the rest of the players on this team to represent this club and win a championship.”
The Cosmos lost the NPSL final at home to Miami FC, 3-1, on Aug. 3.