Mineola’s Mendes named to NASL Best XI

Mineola’s Mendes named to NASL Best XI

Mineola native Carols Mendes was one of two members of the New York Cosmos to be named to the North American Soccer League ‘s 2014 Best XI, the league announced this week. The NASL Best XI is voted on by all 10 of the league’s head coaches and honors the best 11 players in the league each year. Goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer was also included on the list.  

Mendes, the team captain and a Wheatley High School alum, made 25 starts for the Cosmos in 2014 and was a key contributor to the team’s strong defensive performance throughout the year. 

The central defender played in the second-most minutes (2,238) on the team in 2014 and helped lead a backline that allowed the second fewest goals in the league (27). 

Mendes scored two goals and recorded one assist on the year and was named to the NASL Team of the Week a team-high five times in 2014 and also took home NASL Player of the Week honors in Week 1 for his two-goal performance in the team’s 4-0 win over Atlanta.

Mendes was the first player to sign for the Cosmos ahead of the team’s 2013 re-launch season and was also named the new team’s first captain. He made 13 appearances for the Cosmos during the 2013 season and was named to the NASL Team of the Week three times before leading the Cosmos to a 1-0 victory over the Atlanta Silverbacks in Soccer Bowl 2013.

“I’m excited to have been named to the NASL Best XI,” said Mendes on the distinction. “This award goes out to all the guys who have played alongside of me. We’ve worked hard all year, and they’ve been a big part of me winning this award.”

Maurer recorded a league-high 11 shutouts in 24 appearances for the Cosmos in 2014. His 0.91 goals against average was second highest in the league and he finished tied for second in the league in saves (67). Maurer posted a 10-7-6 record on the year and was named to the NASL Team of the Week twice during 2014.

This was Maurer’s first year as a fulltime starter for the Cosmos. Maurer made one start for the Cosmos in 2013, posting a 1-0 shutout victory over the Atlanta Silverbacks on Nov. 2, 2013.

“It’s just a huge honor,” said Maurer on his selection. “The league was really strong this year. Thank you first and foremost to the team and our coaches – my goalkeeper coach, Memo Valencia. We do tons of video and training to help me get better every game.

“And credit obviously to our team for putting in all the work in front of me,” he added. “They helped make sure shots were limited which is why we were able to get so many shutouts and keep our goals against average low.”

Maurer and Mendes played in every minute of the 2014 Spring season for a Cosmos defense that allowed just three goals in nine games and posted a modern day NASL record shutout streak of 372 minutes.

“It’s great to have two of our players make the starting XI for the year,” said head coach Giovanni Savarese. “I’m very proud of both of them, and overall, the nomination of one or two players is always attributed to the hard work of our entire group. I’m proud of all my guys and what they did this year.”

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