Gio Savarese Named New York Cosmos Head Coach
The New York Cosmos today named Giovanni “Gio” Savarese head coach, it was announced by club COO Erik Stover. Savarese most recently served as director of the Cosmos Academy and manager of the Cosmos U-23 team that played in the USL Premier Development League. Savarese also is a soccer commentator on ESPN Deportes.
“With his stature and connections in the New York-area, combined with his eye for talent and leadership ability, Gio is the perfect candidate to lead the Cosmos back to the playing field,” said Stover.
Savarese said, “I know how much the New York Cosmos mean to the local soccer community, understand my great responsibility and am excited about the challenges ahead. I’m thrilled and appreciative for the opportunity and look forward to putting together a competitive team.”
A native of Caracas, Venezuela of Italian descent, Savarese’s first trip to New York was to attend one of Pelé's soccer camps where he met and was greatly influenced by the New York Cosmos legend. Savarese returned to the U.S. to play college soccer at Long Island University, after earning six caps with the Venezuelan National Team.
After starring at LIU, Savarese joined the Long Island Rough Riders and combined with future U.S. Men's National Team stars Tony Meola and Chris Armas to lead the team to the 1995 USISL Championship, scoring 36 goals in two years with the club. He was drafted by the NewYork/New Jersey MetroStars in the ninth round of the MLS Inaugural Player Draft and scored the team’s lone goal in its first-ever game. Savarese spent three seasons with the MetroStars, scoring a then club record 44 goals in all competitions, a mark that stood for 12 seasons. He also played professionally in Italy, England and Venezuela.
In 2005, Savarese returned to the MetroStars as the head of their youth development, a position he served in with rebranded Red Bull New York through 2007. In 2008, Savarese was named US Development Academy National U-16 Coach of the Year.
The New York Cosmos, which announced in July that they had joined the NASL, will play at James M. Shuart Stadium on the campus of Hofstra University, where the team competed in the original NASL in their second and third years of existence -- 1972 and 1973. The stadium boasts a seating capacity of more than 13,000.
It’s been nearly 30 years since the Cosmos, an iconic global soccer brand, have played in a professional league. Yet throughout their absence, the club has maintained a loyal and dedicated fan following.
The Cosmos began play in 1971, spending fourteen seasons in the earlier NASL, winning five Soccer Bowl trophies and bringing some of the biggest names in world soccer history to North America. The Cosmos last won the NASL Soccer Bowl in 1982.