Darwin Espinal scored several vital goals for the Cosmos last season. (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)
NEW YORK — Midfielder Darwin Espinal has signed a contract with the Cosmos for the National Independent Soccer Association fall season, the club announced on Tuesday.
The Cosmos also loaned Espinal to the Oakland Roots Soccer Club for the NISA spring season. The Cosmos won’t compete in the league until the fall season, which begins in August.
As per club policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Espinal was vital part of the Cosmos midfield during the National Premier Soccer League and NPSL Members Cup seasons.
He was hampered by injuries for part of the year, but when the 25-year-old midfielder competed, he was the center piece of the Cosmos’ attack, which kept the Cosmos in the running for the Members Cup crown. He scored two goals as he earned Members Cup Best XI honors along with Cosmos teammates Emmanuele Sembroni and Aly Hassan.
Espinal’s NPSL goals included the game-winner in a road victory over the Michigan Stars and a second-half equalizer in a road draw at Detroit City FC.
“Darwin gives our attack some spark going forward,” Cosmos head coach Carlos Mendes said. “He’s a hard-working player who will give us a lot this season.”
The Honduran native will report to Oakland for preseason season. The team kicks off the spring season against Chattanooga FC at home on Feb. 29. The spring season runs through June 12, after which Espinal will join the Cosmos. Oakland is coached by Jordan Ferrell.
“Oakland is a good organization,” Mendes said. “They’ve done very well off the field over the last year and it should be a good experience for Darwin.”
Espinal also has performed for the Tampa Bay Rowdies (North American Soccer League), South Florida Surf (USL League Two) and Reno 1868 (USL Championship).