Oneko Lowe insists that the “hard work starts now” after joining the New York Cosmos on a one-year deal.
The Dandy Town winger will play for the Cosmos B team this season as part of an agreement by the club to sign a promising Bermudian player during their pre-season visit to the island.
Lowe has been granted a round-trip ticket and monthly housing allowance by the Cosmos. He will join up with his new team-mates next month ahead of their season opener away to Boston City in the Northeast Region’s North Atlantic Conference. The 19-year-old said he only found out about his exciting opportunity a few hours before the Bermuda Select’s 1-1 draw against the Cosmos at the National Stadium yesterday.
“I’m very grateful for this opportunity and I’m determined to take full advantage of it,” Lowe said. “I only found out about it today and it came as a surprise to me. I had to keep my mind on the game and tried not to let it affect me.
“I just tried to play my natural game and not try to impress. When you try and impress your game can really fall off.”
With the Cosmos only arriving on the island last Thursday, it is likely that Lowe was recommended by the Bermuda Football Association based on his superb performances for the island at the Concacaf Under-20 Championship in Costa Rica last month.
Lowe, who attends Washington Academy in Maine, New England, was Bermuda’s top scorer at the tournament with goals against Trinidad and Tobago and Costa Rica.
“The under-20 tournament was important for me as it enabled me to see what I have to do to get to the next level,” Lowe said. “I’m prepared to do whatever it takes now I’ve got my foot in the door as I’m pushing for greatness and want to go as far as I can. It’s all about hard work and dedication and I feel like I’m ready for this opportunity.”
Lowe is the third Bermudian to join the Cosmos after Randy Horton and Sam Nusum played for them in the previous incarnation of the NASL in the 1970s.
Horton, a powerful striker, led the Cosmos to a maiden title in 1972 and finished as the league’s top scorer and MVP, while Nusum made 17 appearances in goal for the club in 1975.
“I haven’t spoken to those guys but I would love to,” Lowe added. “It would be interesting to listen to them so I know more about where I’m going.”
Lowe believes yesterday’s match against the Cosmos will as a serve as a learning experience for Bermuda’s young players. “It was a physical game but the one thing our players need to do is keep our heads,” he said “I believe we did a pretty good job.”