The First Signing Ex-Red Bull Mendes Joins the Cosmos

Carlos Mendes is coming home. The New York Cosmos on Tuesday announced the signing of Long Island-native Mendes.

Mendes, who played for the Red Bulls, was born and raised in Mineola, N.Y. He currently resides in East Meadow played youth soccer for the Mineola Portuguese Soccer Club. He attended The Wheatley School in Old Westbury, the alma mater of Cosmos legend Shep Messing.

Mendes will wear No. 4, the same number as Werner Roth, the New York-raised former Cosmos captain, who joined the club for its first season at Hofstra in 1972.

“Carlos is a Long Island guy, well respected in the community and a leader on and off the field,” Cosmos COO Erik Stover said in a statement. “He gives us a solid foundation to build our club around.”

Added Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese:, “Carlos is an experienced and solid defender. We fully expect him to be a strong presence in the locker room and provide us with the leadership we’ll need.”

Needless to say, Mendes was happy to return to his roots.

“I’m thrilled to join the New York Cosmos and not only play for a club that has seen some of the greatest players in soccer history but also return to my backyard to get the chance to compete in front of family and friends,” he said.

The 31-year-old Mendes spent seven seasons in Major League soccer, six with the MetroStars/Red Bulls and ranks second on the franchise’s all-time games played list. He competed last season with the Columbus Crew.

After graduating from Old Dominion University where he was a four-year starter, Mendes played for the Long Island Rough Riders. He joined the MetroStars in 2005 and in 2006 was named the club’s Defender of Year by the local soccer media. In 2008, Mendes helped lead the club to its only MLS Cup final.

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