Gallego joins NY Cosmos

Alberto Gallego — image obtained via google images

Alberto Gallego will be taking over as ‘First Assistant Coach’ at New York Cosmos for the 2017 season.

A source revealed that Gallego had been in negotiations with the club for a few weeks and that Gio Savarese believes Gallego’s handling of the tumultuous Fall season at Rayo OKC are demonstrative of his leadership and commitment to the game.

Gallego leaves his job at Rayo Vallecano immediately and is expected to start at Cosmos this week. Gallego confirmed the tip via email, although unable to share details about negotiations/nature of his exact role.

“It’s a big challenge for me, being in Rayo Vallecano has made me stronger and I’ve learned a lot but Cosmos and specially Gio are going to be a great school for me to keep growing up as a coach. Cosmos is an international club and a huge responsibility for me to do things the best way I can. I am very excited and very thankful for all the trust in me. Also I am thankful to Raul Gonzales Blanco who had always good words (to say) about me” — — Alberto Gallego

During his time at Rayo OKC, Gallego worked closely with Willy Whitelaw. Whitelaw believes that NY Cosmos will benefit from Gallego’s experience and technical knowledge:

“Alberto is a soccer-lifer and fits the mold of the 3.0 rebirth of the cosmos, his first true passion is coaching as he has been in the lower divisions of Spanish soccer and undoubtedly his technical expertise (esp. from dead-ball scenarios) will be invaluable to Gio. Alberto pours nothing but his heart and mind into the project in front of him.” — Willy Whitelaw

To non-Rayo OKC supporters, Gallego will be best known for his candid and illuminating (and scathing) interview about Rayo OKC with Neil Morris.

Rayo’s head coach during the Fall season, Gerard Nus, has been an assistant to ex-Chelsea head coach Avram Grant during Ghana’s 4th place finish in the recently-completed Africa Cup of Nations.

When asked, Gerard Nus informed me that he wouldn’t be joining NY Cosmos. Nus is currently focused on his position at Rayo Vallecano and says any assistant coach position within the NASL does not interest him currently.

“Looking forward to be head coach when the right position comes along,” Nus told me.

After a tumultuous off-season, NY Cosmos are rebuilding the club under Gio Savarese, having signed key players such as NASL’s best RB Ryan Richter and dexterous winger Walter Restrepo. The retention of Gio Savarese, however, may have been the true masterstroke of last season’s crazy moments. Under Savarese, and with Gallego at his side, Cosmos will be confident of another successful on-field season for NY Cosmos.

Rayo OKC will not be involved in NASL’s 2017 season, although unconfirmed rumors persist that Rayo may be interested in starting a new NASL franchise in a different city at a future date.

NY Cosmos start their season away at Puerto Rico FC on April 25th.