Giuseppe Barone played for the Cosmos during the 2018 NPSL season. (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)
The Cosmos have added a pair of former Brooklyn Italian midfielders – Giuseppe Barone and Mattia Cella – for the National Independent Soccer Association fall season.
Their signings are subject to approval by the U.S. Soccer Federation and the league.
Cella joins the team after playing at Caldwell University. Beforehand, Cella featured for the Under-19 teams of Genoa and Entella in Italy – as well as featuring for Rapallo Rivarol and Sestri Levante in Serie D and Serie E. At the U.S. club level, Cella most recently featured for the Italians, who were the Cosmos’ chief rivals in the National Premier Soccer League.
“It’s an honor to join such a prestigious team like the Cosmos,” Cella said. “I’ve felt welcomed since my first training session, and the club has such a great environment around it. I can’t wait to give everything for the Cosmos.”
Cosmos assistant coach Dominic Casciato worked with Cella during his time at the Italians. Casciato was impressed and got him a tryout with New York.
“Having worked with Mattia closely over the past couple of years in the NPSL, I felt he was ready to make the step up to the professional ranks,” Casciato said. “Carlos gave him an opportunity to come in to train with the group and he has fit in really well. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with him in his first year as a pro and excited to see what he brings to the squad.”
Cosmos head coach Carlos Mendes certainly remembered what Cella brought to the table with the Italians.
“Mattia is a player we liked a lot when we faced the Italians last season,” he said. “We know the quality he has, and he has experience with Dom Casciato, who he knows very well. We feel that he can contribute right away this season. He’s an experienced, mature player that brings a different dynamic to us. He’s versatile and comfortable on the ball, qualities that we look for in all our midfielders. We’re very excited to have him.”
Barone played with the Cosmos during the 2018 NPSL season. The former St. Francis Brooklyn College standout performed for the Milwaukee Torrent last season in the NPSL Members Cup, facing off against the Cosmos twice.
“I am very grateful for the opportunity to represent such an historic and iconic club like the New York Cosmos again,” Barone said. “I would like to thank the coaching staff for this chance and I’m looking forward to the start of the league and competing for a trophy.”
Barone is no relation to Cosmos midfielder Sal Barone or his brother Giuseppe Barone, who has signed with Perugia in Italy’s Serie B.
“Giuseppe is a player that has been around us numerous times,” Mendes said. “He’s a versatile player that understands the game, is superb tactically, and is a hard worker. The experience of playing against him made us really like what he brings and offers. He’s someone with some experience in understanding what we expect at the club and how we want to play. He’s a good fit for us.”
The Cosmos are scheduled to open their NISA fall season schedule on Aug. 8.