Danny Szetela

Victor Fraile/Getty Images

Sources: Cosmos midfielder Danny Szetela joins NPSL side FC Motown

Leave a comment

Uncertainty around NASL has forced a number of players to seek new ventures in their playing careers, and that has become the case for yet another high-profile talent.

[ MORE: Red Bulls make history with big CCL road win over Tijuana ]

Pro Soccer Talk has learned through multiple sources that former New York Cosmos midfielder Danny Szetela has agreed to join NPSL club FC Motown.

The 30-year-old had previously played with the NASL club since its return to the league in 2013. In that time, the New Jersey-native notched six goals and two assists in over 100 appearances for the three-time modern-day NASL champions.

NASL recently cancelled its 2018 season after the league was denied an injunction in appeals court that would have maintained NASL’s Division II status.

Szetela began his professional career back in 2004 when he signed with the Columbus Crew from MLS. Additionally, the veteran has spent time with D.C. United and a brief stint in Europe at Racing Santander (Spain) and Brescia (Italy).

FC Motown has quickly put its name on the map after recently signing former MLS player Dilly Duka, as well as the team’s manager — Sacir Hot — who came up through the New York Red Bulls and U.S. Men’s National team academies.

The club will make its debut in NPSL this season, after maintaining a perfect 22-0-1 record last year in the Garden State Soccer League. FC Motown will play all of its home matches this season on the campus of Drew University located in Madison, New Jersey.

During FC Motown’s current preseason campaign, Hot and Co. have recorded wins over USL side Bethlehem Steel and the New York Red Bulls Under-19 team.

Danny Szetela, a classic, cautionary tale, signs with Cosmos

2 Comments

Danny Szetela is real a cautionary tale about young, U.S. up-and-comers in soccer … and how fans and the chattering class can conspire unintentionally to throw expectations wildly out of whack.

The news today is that Szetela has signed with the Cosmos. Good for him, because his career has been seriously on the skids for years.

The seriously hard times cracked Szetela in 2010 when a knee injury undercut his preseason at D.C. United. While the injury acted as accelerant on his spiral, make no mistake: the signs of a career in distress were abundant previously.

I remember the reports as Columbus signed the young midfielder in 2004 – and you would have thought by some of the glowing allegory that the guy was going to be Tab Ramos, Claudio Reyna and Landon Donovan all rolled into one.

Well, he never gained traction at Crew Stadium – perhaps because he never seemed to want to be there in the first place, preferring to play closer to home in New Jersey.

But he looked good in U.S. national team appearances at under-17 and under-20 levels, which prompted Spain’s Racing Santander to sign him up. Szetela never made a first-team appearance and was loaned after two years to Brescia in Italy’s Serie B.

From there, it was back to MLS, where a season with D.C. United provided no evidence that things were headed in the right direction. He made four appearances, playing 97 total minutes.

From Steven Goff’s Washington Post report on Szetela’s release in March of 2010: “Off-field issues hindered his progress and disappointed club officials, and although he appeared in four league matches and five CONCACAF Champions League games, he didn’t make a favorable impression in competition or in the clubhouse.”

It is a very mature teenager who can read about themselves and not believe it, who can stay focused when so many people want to latch on for the ride, who can shoulder the heavy weight of expectations. It’s nobody’s fault in particular, it’s just the way it is – it’s a cautionary tale.