Cosmos Retain Technical Staff

New York handed contract extensions to Alecko Eskandarian, Carlos Llamosa, Guillermo Valencia, and Luis Gutierrez
New York Cosmos Staff | Jan 13, 2016

The New York Cosmos announced today that assistant Coaches Carlos Llamosa and Alecko Eskandarian along with goalkeeper coach Guillermo Valencia and fitness coach Luis Gutierrez have signed contract extensions. The Cosmos’ former assistant sporting director Luke Sassano has also been promoted to technical director.

“These men have played a huge part in the success we have seen over the last few years," head coach Giovanni Savarese said. “Individually they have all achieved great things in their careers and together we plan to achieve even more success for this club."

Llamosa, Eskandarian, and Valencia have been part of the technical staff since the club rebooted in 2013, helping the team win two NASL Championships in 2013 and 2015.

“Our coaches form one of the best technical staff groups in the country,” COO Erik Stover said. “Every one of our backroom staff members has great experience within soccer domestically and abroad. What they have achieved in such a short amount of time is remarkable and I’m very pleased that they remain with this club."

Llamosa played five years of professional soccer in his native Colombia before immigrating to the United States in 1991. He began playing in the A-League for the New York Centaurs and Fever before being picked up in the 1997 MLS Supplemental Draft by D.C. United. He played 10 years in MLS and has 29 caps for the U.S. men’s nationalteam between 1998 - 2002. After retiring, Llamosa spent four years as an assistant coach at Chivas USA before joining the Cosmos in 2013.

Eskandarian joined the Cosmos in 2013 from the Philadelphia Union where he served as the youth technical director. Previously he enjoyed a successful MLS career, where he played for D.C. United, Toronto FC, Real Salt Lake, Chivas USA, and the Los Angeles Galaxy. In 2004, he won MLS Cup with D.C. United and was named MLS Cup MVP. Eskandarian retired in 2010 from concussion-related symptoms.

In 2015, Eskandarian was also named head coach of New York Cosmos B for the reserve side's inaugural season in the National Premier Soccer League, in which they were crowned champions.

Eskandarian is also the son of the legendary Cosmos defender Andranik Eskandarian, who played for the Cosmos from 1978 to 1984.

Valencia also joined the Cosmos in 2013. He enjoyed an 11-year professional career in Colombia as a goalkeeper, playing for América de Cali (1990-1995) and Deportivo Pereira (1995-2001). In 2000, he was a key member of the Deportivo Pereira team that won the Professional Colombian Soccer Association league championship. Upon his arrival in the United States, he became goalkeeper for two seasons for the Westchester Flames in USL Pro (2003-04) and spent the 2005 season with the Long Island Rough Riders.

Prior to joining the Cosmos, he was the goalkeeper coach at Seton Hall University and before that he had stints as an assistant coach at Columbia University and New York University.

Valencia is also the goalkeeper coach for the U.S. U-18 squad.

Gutierrez is a strength and conditioning coach who originally joined the club as part of the Cosmos B technical staff. In June 2015, he took over the fitness coach role for the first team, too. He has professional playing experience in Spain and a UEFA B coaching license.

Sassano joined the Cosmos in April 2013 as assistant sporting director after spending five seasons in MLS playing for teams including the New York Red Bulls and Sporting Kansas City. Following two knee surgeries in 2012, Sassano chose to retire as a professional soccer player.

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