Former New York Red Bulls defender Carlos Mendes will take over the helm at the legendary New York Cosmos in 2019.
The team will participate in the NPSL Founders Cup before partaking in a full season in 2020 with the details yet to be announced.
The move shouldn’t shock many fans of the team as the former team captain was the head coach for the Cosmos B of the NPSL. Previously he played for the club during their revamp in the new NASL (North American Soccer League) from 2013 to 2017.
“This year we want to try to win a championship,” said Mendes following a season where Cosmos B failed to lift the NPSL top award. “That’s what the fans expect, that’s what the New York Cosmos are about, and we’ll work towards that.”
Mendes has been a local favorite in New York, having played for the Long Island Rough Riders, Rochester Rhinos, New York Red Bulls and the aforementioned Cosmos. The largest stint in his career was with the Red Bulls from 2005 to 2011 where he played a total of 146 games. That time dates back to when the team was called the Metrostars and through New York’s only appearance in the MLS Cup in 2008.
Despite offers from other MLS teams, Mendes decided to stay local with the Cosmos and they made him their first signing in 2012. Over that time the team won three NASL Championships and defeated both the New York Red Bulls and New York City FC in US Open Cup play.
“It was important to bring back Carlos,” said Cosmos Senior VP of Joe Barone. “He’s played at the highest level in the United States, he understands American players, he’s local, and he’s been very successful as a player in the game itself and then as a coach last year in the NPSL. More importantly, Carlos bleeds New York Cosmos.”