Savarese: Raul to Cosmos a “realistic possibility”

Raul (Getty Images)

By FRANCO PANIZO

Contrary to recent reports, Raul is not on his way to the New York Cosmos.

Not yet anyway.

Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese held a conference call on Tuesday afternoon and was asked about the recent Spanish reports that said that Raul was close to joining the NASL club. Savarese responded by saying that, while nothing is finalized with Raul, the club is indeed interested in acquiring the prolific Spanish striker.

“Currently, the players that we have are the players that are on the roster,” said Savarese. “When Raul situation advances, you guys will know. But at this moment, we keep on moving forward in this direction.

“Definitely, it’s a possibility. Definitely, there’s been contact and it is a realistic possibility.”

Raul is currently plying his trade with Qatari club Al Sadd, and Savarese added that any club would be thrilled to acquire someone with the pedigree of the 36-year-old forward. Raul has 102 caps with Spain to his name and spent much of his career playing for La Liga heavyweights Real Madrid.

“I think any organization will become enriched if they have in their roster a player like Raul,” said Savarese. “I think he’s a great professional, very competitive, he brings a lot of quality to any side he plays for and the numbers show how big of a player he is. … Definitely, I think that any organization will be keen on having a player like that and for every coach it would be a great situation.”

The Cosmos are no strangers to Spanish players. They currently have defender Ayoze and midfielder Marcos Senna on their roster, both enjoying a strong first year in New York last season en route to helping the club win the 2013 Soccer Bowl

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What do you think of Savarese’s comments regarding Raul? Do you expect the Spanish striker to be a member of the Cosmos soon? How would you see Raul doing in NASL?

Share your thoughts below.

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50 Responses to Savarese: Raul to Cosmos a “realistic possibility”

  1. Tk says:

    All. I know is after those two loses and embarrassing home crowd last week you haven’t been pimipin the Mos like usual Ives….hmmm, wonder why?

  2. NASL to El Paso tx says:

    Why not, just Raul……keep them coming cosmos. If I was cosmos I would go after Giggs, Lampard, some top world gk .

    • Jay says:

      Why so they can play in front of 4k while nobody watches or cares? Look I agree the Cosmos are trying to do their thing but this means nothing. I understand they want to be some global brand but they cant just buy their way to that status. Honestly they should just try to get them a stadium and try to get into MLS. But these moves are like painting a ugly car hoping it will attract more buyers when everything underneath is bad.

      • Phillips says:

        That ugly car is going to use the 2014 US Open Cup as a hood ornament

        • sean357 says:

          I’ve heard this 100% confidence that Cosmos are going to win the Open Cup this year from multiple fans but have yet to see a reasoned explanation why? Do you all really think that Cosmos has a roster to compete with MLS sides (Chivas?) Do you really think that Cosmos has a roster to compete with top MLS sides?
          Curious and would like to hear from a Cosmos fan

          • Cosmosfan says:

            Who have you actually heard that from? Like all fans we hope we win it (well fans that care about the USOC anyway) but most are pretty realistic that winning it would be unlikely. All the fans i talk to just want us to make a good run and beat NYRB.

            • solles says:

              pfft if any MLS team loses to the Cosmos in the Open Cup, they dont deserve to be in the competition anyway.

      • scb says:

        Maybe their fans are trying to pace themselves since they aren’t used to the club playing a full season =)

      • Adam M. says:

        You say they can’t buy their way to global brand status, which is ironic because they already are a gloabl brand and that isn’t really their issue. But ok, having said you can’t buy their way to status, your plan is for them to buy a stadium for hundreds of millions of dollars and then buy an MLS entrance fee for another hundred million or so, whereas you’d prefer they not spend pennies on that dollar comparitively to get a player that is still probably better than anyone in their league (or most players in MLS) and would raise their profile further. The bottom line is that Man City’s recent experience should put all end to the “can’t buy your way” argument. Yes, you can. And if you don’t, someone else will.

      • slowleftarm says:

        I think that you can buy global status (Man City) but that Cosmos haven’t got anywhere near the cash to do that. Plus they play in a minor league with no ability to be promoted so there’s that too.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Friedel and they can play O-35 League.

  3. bryan says:

    one of my favorite players. was always hoping an MLS team, specifically DCU, would sign him. but then he took the money in the middle east.

  4. Kyle Davis says:

    Who cares?

  5. Stephen Pinto says:

    I know he’s old but this would still be incredible. I don’t know why the Cosmos catch so much flak for doing things any other American team would be applauded for.

    • Phillips says:

      The only reason to crap on the Cosmos is if you are worried your MLS team is actually worse. It is good for US soccer there is an interesting team outside of MLS. MLS is my favorite league but I want them to experience competititon in the domestic market. You get soft without competition. Thats what Klinsmann would say.

      Its not like NASL is really going to hurt MLS so why not get some juicy competition going.

      • Brian Hall says:

        I totally agree, why do people want MLS to have a monopoly on domestic soccer. The AFL and ABA greatly helped the development of football and basketball in this country. As the marquee team of the NASL the cosmos to me are America’s Team

        • beto says:

          +1 really looking forward to this year’s open cup with clubs on all levels getting better.

          This is true American soccer success

        • reignman says:

          ” As the marquee team of the NASL the cosmos to me are America’s Team”

          How do you figure? That makes no sense at all.

          I don’t have a blind hatred for the NASL and Cosmos like some do but I’m also not sure what their end game is. Having a good second league is extremely important so I wish NASL all the best. My biggest issue is with Cosmos fans who have an interesting view of themselves and the MLS.

        • Mark says:

          You raise a good point. The AFL / ABA / WHA analogy is the only legitimate endgame I see for the Cosmos and the NASL. The NASL may say that it is going to fill markets underserved by MLS, and that it doesn’t consider itself a D2 or minor league. However, the reality is that there will not be two recognized D1 leagues in the country. A realistic endgame is to grow the NASL in talent and popularity to the point where it is taken seriously, then force a merger…perhaps four or six NASL teams like the Cosmos, Minnesota, San Antonio, etc., join MLS and create a 30 team D1 league. The country is geographically big enough to support it. If the Cosmos endgame doesn’t include playing league soccer at the highest level in the U.S., then they will fail. They won’t be a superclub playing in the NASL and playing friendlies against Man U…they’ll just be the Harlem Globetrotters.

          • reignman says:

            I would be legitimately interested to hear Cosmos management express what their intended end game is. It is hard to see the NASL passing MLS at any point just due to ownership and TV rights so I am not sure what the plan is. I know they’ve said they don’t have an interest in joining MLS before so I am just confused by them.

        • solles says:

          the cosmos aren’t even NY’s team. America’s team lol you guys are giving the Sounders a run for most obnoxious fanbase.

    • slowleftarm says:

      What other country has multiple top flight leagues? NASL is a minor league and Hempstead Cosmos are a minor league team. Why can’t they just accept that?

      • Cosmosfan says:

        Probably for the same reason fans of MLS teams don’t like being called minor league, mickey mouse, or what have you by European league fans. If you love your team you always want the bets for them, not just accept someones else characterization of your team.

        • slowleftarm says:

          Ok but what other country has more than one top flight league? None. You guys can go watch all the minor league soccer you want out there in Hempstead but I don’t get pretending that it’s not minor league when it clearly is.

          • Cosmosfan says:

            What is minor league is relative. Lets be clear, in america soccer is an afterthought domestically, we are all minor league in the eyes of the masses. I see no harm in getting behind your team and dreaming big.

            • solles says:

              no its not relative, any more than calling AAA baseball a minor league is relative.

        • solles says:

          right but the NASL IS actually A minor league….

  6. Tim F. says:

    Would bring more fans out.

  7. chepe pedos says:

    Its funny how MLS fans or soccer fans hate the cosmos, a team the put american soccer on the map all over the world..before these European teams begin their money spending all star rosters..there was the cosmos.. . I love american soccer and respect the cosmos history…. I’ve seen their games a lot and have to say that , they attract me more than most MLS teams to watch…so far these guys are doing everything good by not joining MLS…and to be honest ..I don’t see a much difference between MLS american players and NASL american players…. except for a few but they are all at the same level…the cosmos are doing everything right…start from the bottom up…

    • Cosmosfan says:

      ^ This. IMO, the reason for a lot of the hate is MLS fans are generally MLS fans first and see the Cosmos rejection of MLS as a slight and they want them to fail for being “cocky”. Another big reason is other teams fans can’t seem to stand that the Cosmos and their supporters want bigger things than what D2 teams and leagues should. Kind of you better “know your place”.

      Its weird really, but i think it stems from MLS fans being marginalized by Big 4 sports fans for so long they just really want a dog to kick for themselves so they dont feel like the low man on the totem pole anymore.

      • RK says:

        I hate seeing good money thrown away, like they have for years, in minor league soccer. There never should have been a NASL vs. USL, and smart moves — like regionalizing to decrease costs — has never happened.

    • whoop-whoop says:

      I suspect much of the reaction is due to this: Can you buy history or a list of accomplishments? I can call myself Mick Jagger and walk around in skinny jeans, but laying claim to his gold records would be rather absurd, wouldn’t it. Not a soul associated with Cosmos remotely had a thing to do with those teams in the 70s, its history or anything they did. How many supporters even saw “THAT” team play outside grainy highlight film? Frankly that team’s history is short and based much more on hype than substance. More on buying a few big names than quality of play or great runs at trophies in a tough league.

      I say this all as someone who wanted Cosmos in MLS and would still sincerely like to see them succeed. The Cosmos brand this group bought is highly recognizable and full of nostalgia… undoubtedly it gave them a head start over creating their own, but… comes a time when THIS team, THIS ownership and these players have to pony up and produce a history/accomplishments of their own lest they be seen as nothing more than an empty shirt. There has been plenty enough disdain for the team. It’s a part of being associated with NY, it’s a part of years of brand promotion with no team in existence, it’s also about arrogance and lofty claims from SOME of its supporters, but it seems the dust has begun to settle/reality set in. Ultimately soccer… being a “Big Team” is about big games vs big opponents with big stakes. Playing in NASL in the boondocks without a stadium… Cosmos have painted themselves into a tight corner with very limited avenues to all of the above and the end game in pro sports, bringing in big revenue TV contracts. I swear I hope they succeed.

    • Cesar Barrientos says:

      its not that we hate the Cosmos is the fact that they believe after all this time they are still the real Cosmos from the 80s is just amazing, that’s all history you can’t build a team on what happened 20+ years ago and also they are competing with teams that do not have the money or the players that they have, I like USL over nasl to me USL is the D2 in USA.

      • Cosmosfan says:

        By all rights and law, they are the same entity. It never dissolved or ceased existing, Pepe ran it and paid taxes and used it all this time, held all the assets, etc. They have every right to claim the history. I dont expect someone unfamiliar with corporate and business law to understand that, but it is true. To us, this is just a new chapter in the history of an amazing soccer club.

        • solles says:

          youre living in a fantasy land. Hell live it up in there why not, who the hell am i.

    • solles says:

      THIS cosmos team did nothing of the sort. And I dont even dislike the NASL, not one bit. Some cosmos fans on the other hand….

  8. JakeTheSnake says:

    Why not get Pelé back while they’re at it?

  9. Good Jeremy says:

    Ugh. This just reminded me that Manchester City will have a team in MLS while the Cosmos are playing college and semi-pro teams every week.

    • Cosmosfan says:

      Who would the NCAA and PDL sides be? Because last i checked their opponents in league play are all professional sides.

  10. Chris says:

    It’s cute the Cosmos think they are a real team. It’s even cuter they think anyone hates them for their “past” when this current incarnation shares nothing more than a name.

    • Cosmosfan says:

      ^ Case in point…despite clearly being a legitimate professional team and the legal continuation of the Cosmos…we have hater inexplicably offering up his ridiculous hater opinion that they are not an actual team.

  11. slowleftarm says:

    My first reaction to this was surprise at learning that Raul still plays. Let’s hope someone explains to Raul that he’s signing for a minor league team that can’t be promoted. Marcos Senna didn’t know that because in his press conference he said he couldn’t wait to play RBNY in the league.

  12. chupacabra says:

    Sure, Raul playing for the Cosmos is a possibility. Savarese just needs to get permission first from his wife, Morgan Fairchild. Yeah, that’s the ticket!

  13. NYCms says:

    So? What’s your favorite team? You guys are talking so much about the Mighty Cosmos..
    Then, what’s your team?
    Seattle have a lot of fans cuz NASL, same with Portland and Vancouver.
    I like NASL because they are more like any European or South American League.
    But MLS it’s the typical American way.. Pyramid!
    BTW sup with MLS adidas jerseys?? They all have to wear adidas?!? Wtf!
    Plus they are ugly as hell!!