Monday, January 10, 2011
Cobi Jones, Osael Romero leave L.A.
By Scott French
Add to Edson Buddle's move to Germany two departures from the local clubs Monday.
Cobi Jones, perhaps the Galaxy's most enduring legend, has left Bruce Arena's coaching staff to become associate director of soccer and an ambassador for the new New York Cosmos, who are bidding to become the 20th Major League Soccer franchise.
Osael Romero, the Salvadoran midfielder who arrived on loan from Vista Hermosa with decent fanfare when he joined Chivas USA last season, was released after a dismal 2010 campaign.
Jones, of course, is soccer royalty in these parts. The Westlake Village product (Westlake HS/UCLA) has been with the Galaxy since their inception, playing from 1996 through 2007 -- he owns 10 club records, including games (306), starts (281) and assists (91), and is No. 2 to Landon Donovan in goals (70) -- and serving as assistant coach the past three seasons.
Jones, who was a high school teammate of Eric Wynalda's, played in three World Cups (1994, 1998 and 2002) and holds the U.S. record for international appearances (164), the No. 7 total in history.
The Cosmos, revived last year by former Tottenham vice chairman Paul Kemsley, already has a Los Angeles presence, partnering with Pasadena-based youth club Los Angeles Futbol Club to form Cosmos Academy (West). LAFC was rebranded as LAFC Cosmos.
Romero, 24, an attacking midfielder for El Salvador's national team, was too slight, too slow and never adapted to Major League Soccer. He made just 13 appearances for Chivas USA, nine in league play, and scored one goals. The Goats declined their option on the loan agreement, and Romero returned to Vista Hermosa.