One day after landing former Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Kyle Reynish to occupy the space between the posts, the New York Cosmos found another MLS product to occupy the bench. And one with significant links to the club, to boot.
On Friday, the Cosmos announced MLS Cup 2004 MVP Alecko Eskandarian has joined the club as an assistant coach. Eskandarian – whose father, Andranik, played for the Cosmos from 1978 to 1984 – joins the NASL club seven months after parting ways with the Philadelphia Union, where he had served as the club's youth technical director.
"I am delighted to welcome Alecko back into the Cosmos family” Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese said in a statement. "Alecko is the perfect addition to my coaching staff. Alecko grew up with the Cosmos and understands the club and I look forward to working with him. Along with his excellent playing career, Alecko has good coaching experience already and I feel he has what it takes to be a top level coach.”
During a seven-year career in MLS, Eskandarian spent time with D.C. United, Toronto FC, Real Salt Lake, Chivas USA and the LA Galaxy, playing 136 games and scoring 36 goals. He retired in 2010 because of concussion-related symptoms.
Eskandarian was the No.1 overall pick in the 2003 SuperDraft by D.C. United, and scored two goals in the 2004 MLS Cup final against Kansas City to capture Most Valuable Player honors.
“I am very excited to be joining the New York Cosmos,” Eskandarian said. “I have many happy memories growing up around the Cosmos and this is a perfect place for me to continue my coaching career."
Former Columbus Crew and New York Red Bulls defender Carlos Mendes was the Cosmos' first signing.