Danny Szetela: “You have to hold on, you have to keep supporting. You have to trust that the club you love will be in your heart. “(Photo courtesy of Kosmos)
By Michael Lewis
When Danny Szetela considered retiring he was asked if he had a message for Cosmos fans.
Szetela is the only player to have appeared for the club since his restart in 2013. He played for three North American Soccer League championship teams and has been the team’s captain for the past three years.
“Just hold on. You’ve been holding on for the past four years, ”he said. “To be honest, I’m a fan now. I won’t be playing anywhere else. I’m a fan. So you have to hold on, you have to keep supporting. You have to trust that the club you love will be in your heart. You have to believe, just like God tells us, that opportunities are ahead. You will believe and keep growing.
“So you just held on and waited. We started in 2013. It was a great time, NASL. But now all the supporters who are still there have not left the cosmos. I know the five points [the Cosmos supporters clubs] and I know the supporters who are still there because I’m talking to them. Just keep hope.
“Listen, I don’t have a club here. My club was the MetroStars there and they’ve been gone a long time. MLS took them over. So don’t let MLS take the cosmos. “
Red Bull bought the MetroStars from AEG in 2006. Szetela grew up in Clifton, New Jersey, as a MetroStars fan.
Szetela also backed club owner Rocco B. Commisso’s decision to take a break for at least the National Independent Soccer Association’s spring season. The cosmos has not announced how long they will rest and whether the team will also suspend the fall campaign.
“I really believe that the fans will have their club with the cosmos,” said Szetela. “Rocco will never sell the club. I think he just needs a little break to find out what’s going on in this country because this country is very different from anywhere in the world with football or soccer. I think anyone who says, “Oh, Rocco, sell, sell, sell.” Look, give this guy a minute, man. He spends a lot of money every month fighting US football. He gave the players [an opportunity] play in an amateur league [with] professional salaries when he didn’t have to.
“There were times when we didn’t know whether we were going to play or not after we bought the team.”
Commisso decided to pay the Cosmos players full salaries after his takeover.
“People don’t understand [or] I know all the advantages and disadvantages that I understand, ”said Szetela. “It’s easy because now there is internet everywhere. Honest. Rocco, since I met him and what I know, I don’t think Rocco is going to give up the team and sell it. It just takes time. And if it takes a year off, that’s fine. If he takes a year off to do the club 20 times better next year, why not? “