Cosmos return to soccer pitch

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“I grew up on Long Island hearing about the Cosmos from my parents,” said defender Carlos Mendes, a Wheatley High School product who played six of his eight Major League Soccer (MLS) seasons with the New York Red Bulls. “It’s an honor to wear this uniform,” he added. “The coaching staff is great and it’s one of the best groups of guys I’ve been around.”

Mendes, Hunter Freeman and Hunter Gorskie are expected to lead the defense, while Savarese will count on Marcos Senna and Ayoze to spark the offense. Mendes and goalkeeper Chad Calderone, a Rockville Centre resident who played at South Side and Kellenberg, have been friends for more than 20 years and were college teammates at Old Dominion University. Calderone is vying for playing time along with Kyle Reynish and Jimmy Maurer. “We’ve got a tremendous goalie situation,” Calderone said. “Every day we get better.”

The Cosmos will face each the other seven teams once at home and once on the road for a total of 14 games. Subsequently, the winner of the spring championship — the Atlanta Silverbacks — will host the winner of the fall title in the Soccer Bowl to determine the 2013 NASL champion. The Soccer Bowl will take place the weekend of Nov. 16.

Each of the Cosmos’ seven home games at Hofstra will be aired in high definition on ONE World Sports. The on-air broadcast team is comprised of play-by-play announcer JP Dellacamera and former Cosmos’ goalkeeper Shep Messing as color analyst. The ONE World Sports network is available on DISH, Cablevision and Mediacom. “We’re excited to be able to put our games on air and increase the viewing options for our fans,” Cosmos Chief Operating Officer Erik Stover said.

Season tickets start at $96 for adults and $88 for children ages 3-12. Admission for children under three is free. Fans can select from Club Seats, which include all-inclusive hospitality and parking, to center circle, sideline, end line or the supporters section. All season ticket holders receive an inaugural season commemorative gift, exclusive merchandise discounts, invitations to special events and more.

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