HE’S BACK: Espinal tokens at Cosmos on loan to Oakland for the NISA spring season

Darwin Espinal scored several important goals for the Cosmos last season. (Courtesy photo of Kosmos)

NEW YORK – Midfielder Darwin Espinal has signed a deal with Cosmos for the National Independent Soccer Association’s fall season, the club announced on Tuesday.

The Cosmos has also loaned Espinal to the Oakland Roots Soccer Club for the NISA spring season. The Cosmos will not compete in the league until the fall season, which starts in August.

According to the club’s policy, the terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Espinal was an integral part of the Cosmos midfield during the National Premier Soccer League and NPSL Members Cup seasons.

He was handicapped by injuries for part of the year, but when the 25-year-old midfielder took up he was at the center of the Kosmos attack that kept Kosmos in the running for the Members’ Cup crown. He scored two goals when he and Cosmos teammates Emmanuele Sembroni and Aly Hassan received the Best XI award for the Members Cup.

Espinal’s NPSL goals included winning the game in a road win against the Michigan Stars and an equalizer in the second half in a tie at Detroit City FC.

“Darwin gives our attack a spark for the future,” said Cosmos head coach Carlos Mendes. “He is a hardworking player who will give us a lot this season.”

The native Honduran will report to Oakland in the preseason. The team kicks off the spring season on February 29 at home against Chattanooga FC. The spring season runs until June 12th, after which Espinal will join the Cosmos. Oakland is coached by Jordan Ferrell.

“Oakland is a good organization,” said Mendes. “They did very well off the field last year and it should be a good experience for Darwin.”

Espinal also appeared for the Tampa Bay Rowdies (North American Soccer League), South Florida Surf (USL League Two) and Reno 1868 (USL Championship).

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