ZIMBABWEAN striker Lucky Mkosana has made a sensational return to United States’ North American Soccer League (NASL) side New York Cosmos after a stint at Finnish champions IFK Mariehemn, the American club announced on Thursday.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The 29-year-old dreadlocked forward made a move to Finland in January 2017 after enjoying two successful years with the Cosmos from 2015 to 2016.
Mkosana joined IFK Mariehamn in the Veikkausliiga (Finnish Premier Division) earlier this year, leaving his mark with two goals in nine appearances. He also featured in the 2017 Finnish Cup, helping his team reach the quarterfinals with two goals in six games.
New York Cosmos, however, announced that they were resigning the Zimbabwean forward with the deal pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate.
“We would like to welcome Lucky back to New York,” said Cosmos head coach and sporting director, Giovanni Savarese in a statement on the club’s official website.
“He is an experienced NASL player that has scored important goals for the Cosmos in the past and we feel confident he will be a great addition to our team.”
Mkosana originally joined the Cosmos in November 2014 after spending time with the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
His career, however, started at Dartmouth College, where he was named the 2011 Ivy League Player of the Year and made it into the All-Ivy League First Team all four years from 2008 to 2011.
Mkosana was selected by the Chicago Fire in the second round of the 2012 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, but never signed for them, opting instead to join the Harrisburg City Islanders, where he scored 20 goals and tallied four assists in 41 games for the USL Pro club.
In his first season at New York Cosmos, he started 21 out of 27 games in the 2015 NASL season, bagging five goals and one assist.
His most memorable goal was when he scored a 90-minute equaliser against New York City FC in the US Open Cup, after which the Cosmos advanced to the Fifth Round by winning the ensuing penalty shootout.
Mkosana continued to be a presence in New York’s attacking line, adding four goals and four assists in 25 appearances in the 2016 NASL Season.
The speedy striker helped the Cosmos lift their last two NASL trophies, the 2016 Championship and 2015 Soccer Bowl.
Despite his success in the US Mkosana is yet to be capped for the national team continuously being overlooked by national team coaches — including the interim gaffer Norman Mapeza and his predecessor Kalisto Pasuwa.