UNIONDALE, L.I. — While his friends slept in, enjoyed barbecues and went to the beach, David Diosa celebrated the Fourth of July by going to work.
Work for the Colombian-born Diosa is playing soccer and the 20-year-old from Jackson Heights plies his trade for the New York Cosmos.
The Cosmos, set to embark on its second incarnation in the North American Soccer League, are expected to announce Diosa’s signing as early as Friday morning.
“It’s pretty special,” Diosa told DNAinfo New York.
Diosa is the first player to graduate from the Cosmos youth academy to the professional squad.
“I already have love for the shirt since I played for the academy," he said. "I know what it means and the history. I feel proud to wear the shirt."
“It’s great to see the academy produce something for the first team,” Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese said. “He’s that footprint of what we did in the past and also part of what we’re doing now and into the future.”
Diosa made history from the first time he donned a Cosmos jersey. Savarese, who was previously in charge of the youth academy, said Diosa scored the Cosmos Academy East team’s historic first goal in 2010.
“He was just a special player, someone who had some qualities that I liked, who I thought could grow in the right environment,” Savarese said.
A skilled, dangerous and unpredictable left-sided attacking player, Diosa moved with his mother and sister from Colombia 10 years ago. He went from playing for the Cosmos Under-18 squad to the Under-23 team that competed in the Premier Development League.
Diosa has continued to impress in Cosmos training sessions, where he competes against several Major League Soccer veterans on a daily basis.
“It’s great to have him here,” Savarese said. “Giving him the opportunity has been a great decision because he has shown every practice that he is growing very rapidly and he brings something different to the team. He’s very hungry to do well and right from the beginning he had the respect of the whole group.”
Diosa admitted it was awkward at first to play alongside many players he’d watch on television. But he’s grown more comfortable with each training session.
“I’ve learned a lot from them,” Diosa said of the veterans. “I know I’m young and I still have to learn a lot. I have good teammates and I’m just going to keep working hard.”
The original Cosmos featured international superstars like Pele, Franz Beckenbauer and Giorgio Chinaglia and would draw sellout crowds at Giants Stadium in the late 1970s before the club folded in 1984.
The club dreams of building a 25,000-seat stadium at Belmont Park in Elmont, a plan that includes a 175-room hotel, retail space and a new public park.
As for Diosa’s dreams, they’re coming true.
“I’m pretty excited,” Diosa said. “I’m just waiting for that moment.”