Danny Szetela: “I love this club. I wear this badge with pride. Everybody knows that. My heart is green and white. Hopefully in the future only good things happen to the club and for the fans.” (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)
By Michael Lewis
Danny Szetela has no plans of going anywhere.
He wants to stay with the Cosmos for 2020 and beyond.
The team captain and veteran midfielder hasn’t received a contract offer for the National Independent Soccer Association season yet but is hopeful he will get one in the not too distant future.
“I am going to stay here,” he said. “I don’t see myself going anywhere else right now with my wife and having a a family. I definitely want to be back for 2020 unless something else comes across the road and be a lot better and that’s going to make sense for me and my family to move. But right now the plan is to stay here and continue with the Cosmos and hopefully it will happen soon.”
Szetela has not received any offers from other teams.
“Even if there was, it’s most likely I would turn them down to stay here,” he said. “If I was not going to play with the Cosmos, I would just proceed with a new career path. I am still waiting to see what’s going to happen, at least for the rest of this month and move on from there.”
The Clifton, N.J. native figured he had some unfinished business with the Cosmos. The team forged a 20-1-3 regular season record in the National Premier Soccer League and NPSL Members Cup in 2019 but did not win a championship.
“I think every year you have unfinished business because your goal is always to win the championship,” he said. “Obviously last year and the year before we fell short. Hopefully we can come into 2020, whatever players they sign, even if I’m not there, I am rooting for the team. Hopefully, I’m back and 2020 can be another memorable year for the players and the club and the fans.”
Szetela has been training, working out three or four times a week, but “not as much as if preseason was going to start in February because obviously who knows when preseason is going to start.”
Sometimes he has worked out at the gym or played in some pick-up games.
“Once I get some news and hopefully, I sign, I am committed 100 percent in getting in shape and getting ready for preseason,” he said. “Hopefully, we will figure out something soon and move forward.”
Szetela, 32, took a construction job in Manhattan, helping remodel buildings with a contractor.
“It’s better than sitting home,” he said. “Obviously, we’re not getting paid by the Cosmos anymore. I’m not just going to sit on my butt. Still got to make the money. I’ve got a wife and a kid. Diapers aren’t free. Neither is dinner, lunch or breakfast. I continue to bring income in and hold out to see what’s going to happen with the cosmos and hopefully we can start planning the future, either with the Cosmos or me taking a new career path.”
If you thought that Szetela needed several months to charge his batteries, then think again. After a few weeks after the Members Cup season was over, he was ready to play again.
“Once the season ended with the Cosmos I was already wanting to play in the Garden State Soccer League or the Cosmopolitan [Soccer] League,” he said. “I have too much in the tank. Soccer is my life, besides my family. I want to be on the field. It’s unfortunate that we have to start in August, but hopefully something happens that we can start training earlier and start getting prepared.”
Szetela stressed he owed a lot to the Cosmos, which gave him an opportunity to return to the game he loves after a near career-ending injury.
“The Cosmos gave me the opportunity in 2013, won three championships with them,” he said. “Just want to continue to be with the club and help them grow, if it is as player on the field or something off the field, either way. I love this club. I wear this badge with pride. Everybody knows that. My heart is green and white. Hopefully in the future only good things happen to the club and for the fans.”