The New York Cosmos have signed inspirational 10-year-old defender Zachary Bernstein to a one-day contract and named him honorary captain for their final home match of the fall season. According to the Cosmos' official website, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
With the chance to seal the NASL fall season title and place in the league's championship match in their inaugural campaign on the line, Zachary will be with the squad for training on Saturday. He will then lead the team onto the pitch for Sunday's match against FC Edmonton and take part in warm-ups before sitting with his teammates during the game.
NYCosmos.com details why Zachary will be able to show his older teammates true strength.
Earlier this year, Zachary, who turns 11 on Oct. 25, was diagnosed with a rare, inoperable brain tumor. To battle this illness, Zachary’s family has explored various trials and cutting-edge treatments for him. They’ve also created the donation site known as Friends of Zachary, which helps raise money for his treatments, as well as creates awareness for pediatric cancer. To stay up-to-date with the Cosmos’ Honorary Captain, visit giveforward.com/fundraiser/vzk2/friends-of-zachary-fund.
The original Cosmos, which went bust in 1985, featured legends like Pele, Giorgio Chinaglia, Franz Beckenbauer and Carlos Alberto. The reborn club, which now plays in the second division NASL, signed former Spain international Marcos Senna. And now Lynbrook, New York native Zachary Bernstein joins that list of greats.
"Zachary will make our team better this Sunday," said Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese. A portion of ticket sales from the match will go towards helping Zachary in his fight.
— The New York Cosmos (@nycosmos) October 19, 2013