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New York Cosmos snap up Marcos Senna from Villareal

Jun 13, 2013, 2:38 PM EDT

During his days with Villarreal, Senna drove his team onto success in La Liga, the UEFA Champions League and won many admirers. During his days with Villarreal, Senna drove his team onto success in La Liga, the UEFA Champions League and won many admirers.

The New York Cosmos have signed former Spain international Marcos Senna.

The 36 year old center midfielder comes to the States from an 11 year stint at Villareal where he made 296 appearances, scoring 25 times. The Brazilian-born player is perhaps best known for his stellar play as a defensive midfielder during Spain’s Euro 2008 triumph in Austria and Switzerland.

It was there that Senna became a household name, scoring the third penalty of Spain’s 4-2 shootout victory over Italy in the quarter-finals. His classy performances throughout the Euros led to his being named to UEFA’s all-tournament team.

Senna broke the news of his signing on the Cosmos website, saying: “This is a very special moment for me in joining the Cosmos because I face a new challenge, but at the same time it has been a difficult decision to leave Villarreal after 11 seasons.”

So what do you guys think? Impressed that Senna chose an NASL club over a MLS club?

There are three logical explanations for Senna choosing the NASL.

First, he’s likely being paid fairly handsomely by the Cosmos and will serve as the face of the squad moving forward. Second, there’s a chance that Pelé, as Honorary President and a fellow Brazilian, had some influence over Senna. Finally, Senna may no longer have the pace to compete with MLS level athletes.

In 2010-11 Senna suffered from a rash of niggly injuries. He regained his health in 2011-12 to make 31 La Liga appearances but suffered another injury riddled season this past year as the Yellow Submarine competed in the Segunda. That being said, Senna is by no means past his prime, as evidenced by the 10 goals he’s accumulated in the past two seasons.

Fantastic signing by the Cosmos.

  1. footballer4ever - Jun 13, 2013 at 3:19 PM


    With all due respect to the Cosmos, or whomever they are in charge, their mindset is still in the 70’s and think too much of themselves. I believe the main reason they are not in MLS is for their refusal to adjust to the league’s vision. In the end, why bring back a ghost from the past who was part to blame for the extravagant outlook on themselves to and overlooked the damaged made to the league which folded to simply hurt the sport afterwards. I say let bygones be bygones and Cosmos is not worth all the baggage they carry on.

  2. danielofthedale - Jun 13, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    Loved watching Marcos Senna and if this move was made four or five years back it would be big news but its not. I see this not so much the Cosmos snapping up Senna but Senna cashing in on the Cosmos. I would not be surprised if the Cosmos were bidding against themselves and paid well more than double what anyone else was offering. Plus how much ground can a 36 year old cover in the center of field.

  3. footballer4ever - Jun 13, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Since Cosmos is on the stage MLS was at the beginning of hiring footballers in the brink of retirement or simply physically challenged, Has Cosmos attempted to sign Pele back? (Chuckles)

    Wait! Pele makes more money as an ambassador than what Cosmos might afford to pay him. Okay, let’s move on to a better football club topic the “The Cosmos”.

  4. drewvt6 - Jun 13, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    Do these guys realize they’re not playing in mls?

  5. footballer4ever - Jun 13, 2013 at 4:18 PM


    At 36 y/o and after nagging injuries, the only thing Senna is thinking of is a final big payday either by playing football at the highest level or simply enjoy vacation at the USL.

  6. talgrath - Jun 13, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    And thus the eventual collapse of NASL (again!) begins.

  7. mvktr2 - Jun 14, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Granted it’s a very Very VERY long shot, but if NASL has aspirations to be more than 2nd/3rd tier moves such as this are necessary. The only hope they have is of finding more billionaire owners from abroad to invest in a cheap soccer product on a flyer. If things were to work out where MLS made a fairly big deal with NBC or ESPN or some such then a rival network might be induced into giving them a meager TV deal. Thus with proper management and a whole lot of luck they’ve got a tiny window of hope to eclipse MLS.

    Do I think it’ll happen, NO. Do I think it’s worth a try if I were a billionaire with loot to burn, yes. If the league could afford to operate at a loss for a decade or so with billions in backing while hiring star footballers they could take off in a way that MLS and it’s salary cap haven’t. The reality is at some point (probably within the next 15-20 years) soccer is going to be viable enough as a business model in the US as to allow spending on a far greater scale than is currently maintained in MLS. For the NASL if they want to become ‘the’ US league they really must do it and it’ll probably fail but it’s worth the risk.

    Finally even if they marginally succeed it might be enough to force MLS into promotion/relegation including NASL teams. What a hoot that’d be! Yea I know lots of pipe dreams!

  8. footballer4ever - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    Dreaming is not wrong…Day dreaming, yes. Let’s hope MLS continues to grow and the tv ratings improve. With that, the NASL /USL can help out growing the sport in areas where MLS will not. It’s a matter of growing the sport in different levels, not trying to compete with each other.

  9. jkilcher - Jun 15, 2013 at 8:04 AM

    Setting itself up for failure once again. The original NASL of the ’70’s used this format back then, but now with the MLS growing in popularity wit much young a developing talent, using athletes past prime may fill more seats, but the game will suffer because of this practice. High profile athletes the likes of Beckham is one thing, but how many really remember Senna???

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