Mattituck High School soccer standout Kaan Ilgin is trying out for the New York Cosmos B team.
Ilgin, a key component of the Tuckers’ New York State Class B championship team, was among prospective candidates vying for a spot on the Cosmos reserve side that will play in the National Premier Soccer League this spring and summer.
The Cosmos held the tryouts at the Hofstra Soccer Stadium in Hempstead and the Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale last Saturday and Sunday.
The New York State high school boys soccer player of the year and an all-American, the 17-year-old Ilgin has decided to opt out of college and pursue a professional soccer career instead.
“It was a great opportunity to tap into the local talent,” the Cosmos B head coach, Alecko Eskandarian, told NYCosmos.com. “We’ve been successful in finding a good core of players.”
The tryout process started with between 400 and 500 candidates as the North American Soccer League team looks to secure a roster of between 22 and 26 players, according to the assistant sporting director, Luke Sassano.
According to NYCosmos.com, Ilgin “impressed with his vision and speed” in scrimmages. His club coach, Smithown Arsenal’s Tom Lipps, reached out to the Cosmos director of training and development to help Ilgin secure an audition.
“I‘ve come to a few Cosmos games,” Ilgin told NYCosmos.com. “It would mean a lot to be part of this organization.”
The Cosmos B team will kick off its season against the Brooklyn Italians at MCU Park in Coney Island in Brooklyn as the second game of a doubleheader. The Cosmos, who normally play at Shuart Stadium at Hofstra University, will perform in Brooklyn for the first time.
Ilgin was named an all-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and was honored along with 57 high school standouts across the country at the organization’s convention in January. He was the first all-American in Mattituck’s 80-year soccer history.
Ilgin also was named a winner of the 2014 Siggy Stritzl Award by the Cosmos for being the best boys soccer player in Suffolk County.
Ilgin completed a three-year Tuckers career with 51 goals, tied for 27th on the all-time county list. He is second in Tuckers history, behind Kevin Litchhult, who tallied 71 between 1996 and 2000.
If Ilgin does sign, he would become the second 17-year-old player on the Cosmos.
On Monday, the NASL team inked United States under-17 forward Haji Wright to a contract.
“This possibility opened up and we felt that he would do very well in our environment,” Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese said. “We felt also that this is a place in which he can develop and we’re very content he decided to come and sign with us.”