COO Erik Stover believes the Cosmos could not have found a better man than Giovanni Savarese to coach the team that will make its North American Soccer League debut next year.

"He brings a real soccer DNA to our organization," Stover said of Savarese, who was named coach Monday. "There's not a person that is more passionate [and] more energetic in restarting this club and taking us to the level we believe we can go. His connections on Long Island, in New York, having played in MLS for many years, the relationships he has on the youth level throughout the country, just made it perfect."

Savarese, 42, one of the area's most popular soccer players, starred for the Long Island Rough Riders and MetroStars (now the Red Bulls). He most recently was the Cosmos Academy director and coach of its under-23 team.

The Cosmos will call Hofstra University home.

Though he was a prolific goal-scorer, Savarese did not promise a high-scoring team, as many new coaches have.

"The mentality is try to have a team that can play interesting soccer, a team that tries to build up, that tries to deliver a good product on the field," he said. "We need to make sure that we also deliver results."

Savarese hoped that fans would not expect these Cosmos to recapture the magic of Pele's days in the 1970s immediately.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

"The Cosmos weren't built overnight," he said. "It took time, it took years, little by little to become [the team] we all know that brought players like Pele. This is the same thing . . . They need to be patient to make sure together we'll build something that will be very exciting."