By Maxime Devillaz
Former men’s soccer midfielders Matias Ruiz and Per Forgaard have signed contracts with the New York Cosmos B. The professional, Hempstead-based reserve team founded in 2015 went undefeated in its first season and ultimately won the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) that year.
Forgaard, a 2016 LIU Post graduate of the masters of business administration program, comes off a season as co-captain of the Pioneers, with most goals and assists on the team. He totaled 39 points, 13 goals and as many feeds. The Norwegian-native was honored for his offensive contributions as the university’s “Most Outstanding Male Athlete” at the 2016 Pioneer Banquet, and also collected D2CCA and NSCAA All-American, All-East Region and All-ECC honors last year.
Ruiz, also a 2016 graduate with a bachelors in international business, marked second on the Pioneer point board following his midfield colleague, scoring seven and assisting nine during the fall 2015 season. Ruiz clinched All-ECC and ECAC All-Star first-team mentions for his records. The pair has played four seasons on the LIU Post soccer team, never losing on home ground.
The ink barely dry, Forgaard and Ruiz see the opportunity to play with the reserves as merely a first step. “Right now, the plan is to play some games and then if I do well maybe get a chance with the first team,” Forgaard said. “That would be awesome.”
Ruiz already debuted off the bench on Friday, May 13, as Cosmos B fell to Seacoast United Mariners, 1-0, and started the following game on Saturday, May 14, when the team bounced back with a 3-1 win against New York AC.
“The first two games have been good; I’ve played in both so far, and I’ve done well but I definitely could have done better,” Ruiz said, hoping to adapt to the game pace as quickly as possible.
His plan, like Forgaard’s, is to fight for a first-team spot in the near future. Determined to continue his soccer career, the Southampton-based, offensive force with roots in Paraguay, said, “If I don’t, then I will look to go overseas, whether that’d be in Europe or South America.”