the Richard Chinapoo thread Oct 9, 2018 0:38:14 GMT
Post by Admin on Oct 9, 2018 0:38:14 GMT
Cosmos' Chinapoo Is a Poised Rookie
By LAWRIE MIFFLINMAY 23, 1982
May 23, 1982, Page 005004
The New York Times Archives
His cool is dazzling. In a rookie, poise such as his is rare, so rare as to be suspect. Richard Chinapoo, the rookie, started this soccer season with the Cosmos and with several strikes against him. He was drafted low, in the third round, and went to camp without a contract. He isn't an American citizen, so he must compete with all the Cosmos' international stars for a job. He has had to prove himself coming into games off the bench.
Yet when he glides into action he is steely cool, showing no trace of uncertainty. ''It's no act,'' Chinapoo says, laughing. ''I'm for real.'' He will get another chance to prove himself this afternoon at Giants Stadium, when the Cosmos play Fort Lauderdale, second in the North American Soccer League overall standing to the Cosmos.
Two Winning Goals
Although he has started only four of the Cosmos' 10 games, Chinapoo's shotmaking under pressure has produced two victories. He converted the winning shootout kick against the Roughnecks in Tulsa May 8, and he scored the winning goal with 2 minutes 15 seconds to play in last Wednesday night's 3-2 triumph over the Timbers in Portland. He also scored a goal in the Cosmos' 3-1 home victory over Chicago.
Chinapoo, a 25-year-old native of Trinidad, has made mistakes, too. What distinguishes him from most rookies is that the mistakes don't unnerve him. He calmly runs back into position as a midfielder and gets on with his work.
Chinapoo, who is 6 feet 1 inch, has a physical appearance that contributes to his image. He has a regal way of moving, with his head up, his back straight and his long legs pacing smoothly under him. Good ball-control skills also contribute to the unflustered look. Feels 'Very Confident'
Continue reading the main story
Continue reading the main story
Appearances can be deceiving, of course. But Chinapoo, who was an all-American all four years at Long Island University, insists he really isn't nervous playing for the famous Cosmos.
''I was slightly nervous before the first game I started, in Toronto, but I had played with these guys before, in preseason games,'' he said. ''I'm no longer nervous now. I'm very confident of myself. I feel I can do the job. I'm glad if it looks that way, because if it does, then my teammates probably see it too, and have confidence in me. If they don't, it affects their game as well as mine.
''But I don't want to become overconfident. You keep checking yourself to see, 'Am I confident enough? Am I getting too confident?' It's a fine line.' '' Scouted by Mazzei
Chinapoo almost didn't get a chance to walk that line. If Julio Mazzei, the Cosmos' coach, hadn't been such a devoted follower of local college games and hadn't seen Chinapoo play many times for nationally-ranked L.I.U., the Cosmos might not have taken him, even in the third round of the college draft last December.
He was still available then, mainly because of his citizenship. This year, the league increased the number of United States or Canadian citizens required on the field to four. That placed a premium on American college players.
''If I were a citizen, I think I woul@d've been drafted higher, certainly in the first round,'' Chinapoo said. Similarly, he knew his chances of playing for the Cosmos would be higher if he could have filled one of those North American quota slots.
''I never expected what has happened,'' he said. ''I went to training camp thinking I'd just do my best and work hard, and even if I didn't get a contract, I would still learn something from all these great players.
''And the guys treated me great -there were no funny looks like 'You're trying to take my job.' The attitude was, 'Do your best, and if you win a job, you must deserve it.' It's a very professional attitude around here.''
Chinapoo probably will have no trouble finding another job if soccer doesn't work out. He was carrying a 3.5 grade-point average as an advanced accounting major at L.I.U. when he left school for the Cosmos' training camp in the Bahamas in February.
''I have 21 credits to go, about a semester and a half,'' he said. ''I know I'll finish, I just don't know when. I'll have to wait and see what happens.''
If his Cosmos career progresses at the pace it has so far, he may have a long wait.