John Denis: “I’m thrilled to be part of the group and I am looking forward to working cohesively to meet the demands of the team.” (Photo courtesy of Columbia University)

The Cosmos announced have announced the signing of midfielder-forward John Denis and midfielder CJ Weinstein for the National Independent Soccer Association fall season.

Both signings are subject to U.S. Soccer Federation and NISA approval.

“We’re excited and happy to have John and CJ with us. I think they’re both going to make this a much more competitive environment,” Cosmos head coach Carlos Mendes said in a statement. “We still have to add a few more pieces, but we’re very comfortable and happy with how our roster is coming together. We have a lot of good players, but the way they’ve gelled and gotten back into training has been such a positive and a joy to be a part of. We’re looking forward to the season.”

A recent graduate of Columbia University, Denis has played with the U.S. Under-19 national team, where he joined former Cosmos midfielder Eric Calvillo for 2016 Copa del Atlántico. The Yorktown Heights, N.Y. native registered seven goals and four assists in his senior season as a midfielder and a forward. He also featured played the New York Red Bulls U-23 side in 2018.

“I am very excited and grateful to sign with such an historic club,” Denis said. “I want to thank the coaching staff for giving me this opportunity and my teammates for taking me in with open arms. I’m thrilled to be part of the group and I am looking forward to working cohesively to meet the demands of the team.”

Added Mendes: “John Denis has done very well since coming in. He’s a creative player, very technical, good on the ball – he’s comfortable with going at people and making things happen. I think he’ll push our level up and bring some younger legs to our team. He’s a hard worker and I think he’ll fit in nicely with how we like to play and understand the game.”

Weinstein, who played at Sacret Heart University, signed his first professional contract following a trial with New York Red Bulls II of the USL-Championship. The son of former Long Island Rough Rider standout Cordt Weinstein, the Deer Park, N.Y. native started 44 games over 64 appearances for the Pioneers in his career.

“From my first training session I felt the passion of all the players who brought me in and made me feel like part of the Cosmos family,” Weinstein said. “I am very excited to get started and learn from each and every player. I cannot thank the coaching staff enough for this opportunity, and I am ready to prove myself every day.”

At Sacred Heart, Weinstein finished with a goal and four assists in his four years.

Added Mendes: “CJ’s someone that’s been with us in the past before finishing school, and we see a lot of potential in him,” added Mendes. “We’re excited to have him. There’s a lot of veteran guys at the back that I think will help our younger players. CJ is a very versatile player, and someone that can play a couple of different positions for us.”

The Cosmos are preparing for the NISA Independent Cup and the fall season.

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