Ten and a half months after joining North American Soccer League (NASL) side New York Cosmos, Kenya defender David Cheche Ochieng has to start the search for his next club.
News from the US, and as captured by Empire of Soccer indicates that the club is in deep financial turmoil and has terminated all player and staff contracts. The reports further state that players at Cosmos were handed termination letters on Monday 5 December, meaning the club will not feature in the league in 2017, or ever again.
However, all released players have been paid all their dues for the month of November and will be paid their season bonuses. News of New York Cosmos closing shop is a big blow to the NASL that had lost many teams during the off season and now has just four active clubs left.
The events come weeks after Cosmos bagged the NASL title after seeing off Indy Eleven 4-2 on post match penalties during The Championship final played on 14 November at the Belson Stadium at St. John's University.
Also read Cheche, New York Cosmos bag US title
The league managers at NASL, as well as Cosmos, are yet to release official statements on the latest developments. As that is awaited, players and staff alike have shared their predicaments on social media, all denoting the end of their stay at the club.
New York Cosmos is a club that was active from 1970 to 1985 and in that period captured the world's attention and imagination before folding. But after a 29 year lay-off it rose from the ashes in 2013 to win both the fall and NASL in their first year of asking. The team went on to make all four post season playoffs since their return winning three titles, including the 2016 title.
Though the club is seeking a buyer to avert imminent death the path taken how it had hemorrhaged cash in the recent past has spelt a near death knell that could be salvaged, or not. At that position the league too is in trouble as there are now only four active clubs left - as per reporting by foxsports.
Cheche joined the side in mid February 2016 soon after a move to Swedish top tier side Djurgardens hit a snag.