Bledi Bardic: “I got offers from a USL team and also a from a team Thailand, but my decision was made to stay in the New York City area and continue with the club.” (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)

By Michael Lewis

FrontRowSoccer.com Editor

Bledi Bardic had some outside offers, but he wants to remain a Cosmos for the 2020 and beyond, even if he must wait until June to start preseason training.

The Cosmos have moved to the National Independent Soccer Association for this year, but likely won’t begin preseason training until June, Bardic said.

“I want to return to Cosmos for 2020 even though we have to wait until probably June for the preseason but this was my home in the past three years and I want to move forward with the club,” he said on Monday.

He hasn’t received an off yet, but he has been in contact with the club.

“I got offers from a USL team and also a from a team Thailand, but my decision was made to stay in the New York City area and continue with the club,” Bardic said.

Bardic, who has played with the Cosmos since 2017, also wanted to stay loyal to the club.

“The Cosmos are special club,” he said. “It has a big name, the club has trophies and it has legends that played here before I’ve been here, from the [original] NASL days. Whether it was the NPSL or Members Cup, it didn’t matter to me. I played for the badge and for the fans and gave my all every single day.”

Last year the Cosmos began training for the NPSL season in March. With several extra months before this year’s season, Bardic said he hoped to continue playing with Cedar Stars Academy in the Cosmopolitan Soccer League, as he has done in the off-season in the past.

“I keep myself in shape I train and most likely I’ll keep playing [there]. The level is pretty good and will keep me fit and sharp.”

Bardic’s goal this year with the team? Easy — win a championship.

Despite having three very good to excellent regular seasons in the National Premier Soccer League and NPSL Members Cup over the past two seasons, the Cosmos did not bring home a league championship trophy.

“We failed to win trophies past few seasons, but we were right there close,” he said. “Hopefully this year we can win it. It would be big for the club and the fans of this team.”

With the addition of NPSL Members Cup winners Detroit City FC and Chattanooga FC, the National Independent Soccer Association is expected to be a competitive league. At least Bardic hoped it will be.

“NISA looks like a good league very professional and the level looks good. It’s important the club is back in a PRO league,” he said.