The iconic New York club, New York Cosmos is back. They are back to the NASL which is the 2nd division league in North America. Great news for this mythic club where Beckenbauer and Pelé played and contributed to the club’s worlwide fame.
Fast rewind: The Cosmos began play in 1971, spending 14 seasons in the previous incarnation of the NASL, winning five Soccer Bowl trophies and bringing some of the biggest names in world football history to North America. English businessman Paul Kemsley led a consortium that in 2010 resurrected the franchise with the ultimate goal of securing a Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion team.
However, the Cosmos in October announced the resignation of chairman and CEO Kemsley amid reports of a major restructuring of the club. This ultimately led to Saudi Arabian investors Sela Sport securing full control of the club in November. At the time the new owners said it was “unequivocally” the goal for the team to become an MLS franchise in the “most expedient manner possible”, but the Cosmos have now appeared to change strategy.
Seamus O’Brien, chairman of the New York Cosmos, said: “We are delighted to return to our historic home with the NASL and bring the New York Cosmos back to the playing field. We are committed to running the franchise with the highest possible standards on and off the field, and look forward to putting together a competitive and entertaining team our fans can be proud of.”
The NASL said the team expects to announce more details about its stadium, ticket sales, operations staff and players in the near future. NASL commissioner, David Downs, added: “As we continue to expand the league and help grow professional soccer in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean, the Cosmos brand and their strong ownership group are a perfect fit with us.
The history of the Cosmos and soccer in the New York City area are intertwined. Bringing the Cosmos into the NASL is a logical next step as we embrace the heritage of our own past and now reunite the Cosmos, (Fort Lauderdale) Strikers, (Tampa Bay) Rowdies and several markets with ties to the NASL’s early days. Most importantly, we look forward to the Cosmos enhancing the quality of our league both on and off the field.” [Source: Sport Business]
It’s a great news for North American football and in extenso for football in general. Cosmos have a fan base that some european clubs wish they had! It is also some great news for MLS which is working on adding a 20th franchise to the top tier league.
Don Garber commented on Cosmos latest news:
“We welcome the Cosmos’ entrance to the NASL,” Garber said. “Having a vibrant second division is important to the overall growth and popularity of soccer in North America, and we are pleased to see the NASL add a new franchise.
“Major League Soccer remains committed to securing an expansion team in New York City. The current focus is on exploring a stadium site, but we will continue discussions with several potential ownership groups, including the Cosmos, about the possibility of joining the efforts to bring a second MLS team to New York.” [Source: Soccer By Ives]
So what do you guys think of the return of NY Cosmos?