Israel’s Moyal joins Cosmos • Ben-Haim Sparta bound?

“I am very happy to join the New York Cosmos,” said Moyal. “This is a historic organization to be part of and I look forward to contributing in any way I can.”

June 23, 2017 00:22
2 minute read.
Kobi Moyal

Israeli midfielder Kobi Moyal (left) poses with the shirt of the New York Cosmos alongside Cosmos coach and sporting director Giovanni Savarese after signing with the NASL club.. (photo credit: NEW YORK COSMOS WEBSITE)

After struggling to earn regular playing time in Israel over recent seasons, Kobi Moyal is trying his luck abroad once more, signing a deal with the New York Cosmos on Wednesday night.

The 30-year-old midfielder is hoping to kick-start his career in New York, leaving Beitar Jerusalem following a disappointing season during which he made only 13 Premier League appearances.

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Moyal played in a total of 12 league matches in the previous two seasons at Maccabi Haifa, with a serious knee injury in December 2014 derailing his career.

“I am very happy to join the New York Cosmos,” said Moyal. “This is a historic organization to be part of and I look forward to contributing in any way I can.”

The New York Cosmos are the reigning champions of the NASL (a second-tier soccer league in the United States and Canada). The Cosmos is the most recognized American soccer brand in the world, with the likes of Pele and Franz Beckenbauer playing for the club in its previous reincarnation in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

More recently, Raul and Marcos Senna both played for the Cosmos. With the move to MCU Park in Brooklyn’s Coney Island district for the 2017 season, the Cosmos are now based within New York City for the first time in 41 years.

“We are very happy to add Kobi to our roster,” said Cosmos head coach and sporting director, Giovanni Savarese.

“Besides his experience, he brings a contagious passion for the game that will help the team continue to grow.”

Moyal, who began his career at Beitar Jerusalem in 2006, will be playing abroad for the second time in his career after spending the 2013/14 season at Sheriff Tiraspol in Moldova.

In other soccer news, Maccabi Tel Aviv winger Tal Ben-Haim is closing on a move to Sparta Prague, with the Czech club notifying Maccabi that it plans to activate the 2.9 million euro release clause in his contract.

Ben-Haim told several of his Maccabi teammates that he plans to travel to Prague on Monday to sign a four-year deal that will earn him in the region of one million euro per season. Maccabi is hoping Ben-Haim will remain at the club and offered the 27-year-old a contract extension.

But it has no intention of matching Sparta’s lucrative offer. Should Ben-Haim move to the Czech Republic, he will be the third significant player to leave Maccabi this summer following the departures of Yossi Benayoun and Gal Alberman.

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