Sporting Director and Head Coach Giovanni Savarese signs new deal; Entire coaching staff to return intact in 2015
NEW YORK – The New York Cosmos announced today that the team has signed Sporting Director and Head Coach Giovanni Savarese to a contract extension. As per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Assistant coaches Carlos Llamosa and Alecko Eskandarian, goalkeeper coach Guillermo Valencia and fitness coach Simone Lucchesi have also signed contract extensions.
Savarese led the Cosmos to an 11-9-7 record in 2014 and a berth in the North American Soccer League’s four-team postseason championship. This was Savarese’s second year as head coach and the second consecutive year that Savarese led the Cosmos to the postseason after guiding the club to victory in the 2013 NASL Soccer Bowl.
“Giovanni’s leadership, passion and man-management skills are invaluable,” Chief Operating Officer Erik Stover said. “His achievements the past two years have been remarkable, literally building up a squad from ground up. We’re delighted that he has committed to the club for the long term and also pleased to maintain the continuity with the rest of our coaching staff.”
Savarese, 44, was originally named head coach of the Cosmos on Nov. 19, 2012 and given the task of guiding the team during its first year back in competitive play.He led the club to a 9-4-1 record and the 2013 NASL Fall Season Championship. Savarese then managed the Cosmos to a victory over the Atlanta Silverbacks in the 2013 NASL Soccer Bowl to capture the sixth championship title in Cosmos history.
“We have a tremendous ownership group at this club,” Savarese said. “Everyone in this organization shares the same vision for the club’s future and is committed to achieving it. I have an excellent staff and a great squad of players.”
During a standout playing career as a forward, Savarese earned 30 caps for Venezuela. He also played for several teams, including Swansea City and the MetroStars, spending three seasons with the team and scoring a then-club record 44 career goals for the Metros.
Llamosa, 44, is a Colombian-American who emigrated to the United States in 1991 after playing five years of professional soccer in his native Colombia. Once settled in the U.S., Llamosa began playing in the A-League for the New York Centaurs and Fever, before being picked up in the 1997 MLS Supplemental Draft by DC United. He played 10 years in MLS and also had 29 caps for the U.S. national team between 1998-2002. After retiring, Llamosa spent four years as an assistant coach at Chivas USA before joining the Cosmos on Feb. 7, 2013.
Eskandarian, 32, is a Montvale, NJ native and son of an original New York Cosmos defender – Andranik Eskandarian. Prior to his joining the Cosmos, Eskandarian served as the Philadelphia Union’s youth technical director. Before that he enjoyed a successful MLS career, where he played for DC United, Toronto FC, Real Salt Lake, Chivas USA and the Los Angeles Galaxy. In 2004, he won the MLS Cup with DC United and was named the MLS Cup MVP. Eskandarian retired in 2010 from concussion-related symptoms.
Valencia, 40, joined the Cosmos in January 2013 after coaching the keepers of the Seton Hall University men’s soccer team. He also works with the USSF as U-18 goalkeeper coach and assists with the U-20 goalkeepers as well. He has also coached the keepers at New York University (’07-’10) and Columbia University (’02-’05 and 2011). Valencia had an 11-year professional career in the Colombian Primera playing for, amongst other teams, America de Cali. He also played professionally in Mexico (including Potros Marte) as well as in the United States (Westchester Flames ‘03-’04; Long Island Roughriders ’05).
Lucchesi, 41, was born and raised in Massa Marittima, Italy before moving to New York in the summer of 2013 to join the Cosmos. As a strength and conditioning fitness coach, Lucchesi worked for some of the top soccer clubs in Italy, such as U.C. Sampdoria, Lecce and Lazio.