David Diosa and Sebastián Guenzatti are kicking their way to the top, as both were signed to be part of the returning New York Cosmos.
The Cosmos, which were once based in New York and featured the likes of famed soccer player Pelé, are making a comeback to the North American Soccer League this August.
On the roster, fans will find Diosa, 20, from Jackson Heights and Guenzatti, 22, from College Point.
Colombian-born Diosa started playing soccer at age 4 and came to the United States when he was 10. He played soccer in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park on a team called Bolaños and went on to play with other local teams. Diosa also shone bright as he helped Martin Luther King High School’s soccer team win the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) soccer championship four years in a row.
Diosa later became part of the Cosmos youth academy, where he played for the under-18 and under-23 teams.
“It feels amazing,” he said. “I was waiting for this moment since the academy, so I feel glad to play here, feel honored to play here, to be part of the team and to be part of the legendary club.”
Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese finds it rewarding to have a player like Diosa on the team. Savarese believes the acquisition shows the work that went into the academy paid off.
“Diosa has a great passion for the game, great commitment,” he said. “He has been doing great and he has been growing very rapidly and developing in his game to be a player that can bring things that we don’t have.”
Guenzatti, who began playing soccer at age 4 in Uruguay, caught Savarese’s eye when he played for him at another local academy in the under-17 and under-18 teams.
“He was always a player that I liked. I felt that he had the potential to become a good pro,” said Savarese. “I felt that it was the right time for him to be part of this.”
After playing soccer for Francis Lewis High School for four years, Guenzatti went on to play for two Uruguayan teams.
Savarese then gave him a call to return to New York and try out for the Cosmos.
“I got a little experience over there and now coming here and playing with players I used to see on T.V. and I used to follow – it feels good,” said Guenzatti.
For both Diosa and Guenzatti, it is still surreal to be playing on the same team with players they watched on television for years. But they hope to learn from other teammates and grow together. Both are also thankful to their families.
“I will just work hard [and] listen to the people who are older than me — that have more experience — and get more experience out of this, too,” said Guenzatti.
The Cosmos’ home opener is on August 3 against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers at Hofstra University’s Shuart Stadium.