New York Cosmos - Return of a legend?
It has been in the pipelines for quite some time, but now it is out in the open. The New York Cosmos, one of the most prominent teams of the now defunct NASL (North American Soccer League), has been newly formed with an initial focus on youth development but with an aim to play Major League Soccer in the future.
English businessman Paul Kemsley leads a group of business people who have bought the original franchise name of the NY Cosmos from G. Peppe Pinton, a former general manager of the club. Now the aim is to re-establish the brand and then challenge for bigger things ahead. And it comes at the right time with football growing in North America.
And this could be good news not only for football in New York, but for the MLS in general. New York has a strong club side in the New York Red Bulls, who earlier this year opened their new soccer specific stadium in Harrison, New Jersey and further another club is on the lines to be formed in FC New York, who are said to be pursuing a place in the 2011 United Soccer League, the second tier of North American football. But the NY Cosmos are one of the iconic clubs of world football, their revival would be something different and could be perfect for a derby against the NY Red Bulls. Players like Brazilian Pele and German Franz Beckenbauer used to play for them in their heydays of the 1970s.
And Brazilian legend Pele is also involved in the new venture. Pele has been named as the honorary president of the club to give it the necessary global push. The relaunch was announced on Sunday, August 1 on the sidelines of the final of the “Copa NYC” at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, a NYC youth tournament. And already there is a lot of excitement about the clubs return.
The Cosmos has joined hands with Queens-based youth club BW Gottschee to develop talent at youth level. The Cosmos along with Gottschee will field Under-12 to Under-18 teams in the US Soccer Development Academy under the Cosmos Academy name. And they will now also run the “Copa NYC” under its banner.
But an immediate return to professional football doesn’t look likely with the focus on youth development. Some say that the NY Cosmos could initially be a travelling team like the Harlem Globetrotters in Basketball. Former star players playing under the Cosmos banner for good causes to rekindle interest in the club. And if done properly, then I think that there is a lot of potential in the NY Cosmos and it could help football or soccer as they say in North America grow as a sport.