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Cosmos returning to NASL in 2013

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After all of the fanfare, VIP backing and posturing, the New York Cosmos will indeed take to the field as a soccer team yet again.

The Cosmos announced Thursday that they will play in NASL starting in the 2013 season, joining the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Tampa Bay Rowdies as original NASL franchises playing in the modern edition of the league. The club did not announce where their home games will be played, and according to an NASL release, that information, along with technical staff and players, will be announced "in the near future."

The Cosmos brand was reborn in 2010, with the likes of Pele, Eric Cantona and Cobi Jones taking roles in an effort to bring the legendary club back to prominence. The club currently has an Under-23 side and an academy set-up and also fielded a star-studded team to play at Old Trafford in the Paul Scholes testimonial match last summer. The Cosmos were pushing hard to become the newest MLS expansion franchise before ownership turmoil derailed that quest, but the organization still has its sights set on one day reaching the top tier of U.S. Soccer.

"Our ultimate goal is to play at the very highest level, and we feel today's announcement is the first step in that direction," Cosmos chairman Seamus O'Brien wrote in a team statement.

What do you think of this development? Excited to see the Cosmos return to the field?

Share your thoughts below.

91 comments
  • don

    I’ve always assumed the NASL was a possibility for the Cosmos bc it gives them a chance to be the best team. Going straight into MLS means no chance at winning immediately.

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  • BSU SC

    I went to Cosmos games, too. Once again, you’re making assumptions without knowing what you’re talking about. And the NASL has not been a mess from the start. They’ve had solid infrastructure ever since US Soccer restructured the league (from their USL-1 days).

    You have no idea what you’re talking about. Thank God people like you are not running soccer in this country.

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  • don

    Really? Does it take more than one picture of Pele and Beckenbauer in front of 70,000 to make it immediately relevant?

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  • WildDrawFour

    The Ross jersey collection is fantastic! I bought a knockoff Houston scarf and USMNT jersey (previous edition, red with blue sash). A great place to find apparel for pick-up games.

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  • Chupacabra

    And in five years the league could go bankrupt! It’s all just a little bit of history repeating.

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  • don

    If you want to see relevance, go to google news and see how many papers worldwide are already covering this second division team.

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  • tim

    Tulsa or an OKC team might be a good idea… Midwest could use another team imo.

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  • Felix

    It’d probably be smarter to play academy/young players to get them experience, so once they do get to MLS, they can be augmented by stars.
    I know there’s a couple of presumptions in there.

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  • Felix

    I’m 35 and remember the Cosmos well when I used to go to Chicago Sting games with my family.
    I think you are wrong on this.

    I for one am excited about the Cosmos coming back.
    If they get a stadium in NYC and attempt to attract some stars – it will be a hit. Not only will the older crowd, like myself, love it for the nostalgia, but I think they’ll be a significant amount of haters who will come out to root against them (a lighter version of what we saw with the Miami Heat this year). Plus the instant rivalary with NYRB and the other East Coast MLS clubs.

    If the Cosmos are organized, placed, and marketed right, they will be as much of a credit to this league as clubs like the Timbers, Sounders and SKC.

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  • Brad

    I am actually excited to see the Cosmos coming back. I remember as a child watching my Tulsa Roughnecks play the Cosmos. Those we some great times.

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  • Pele's Accountant

    No, that’s not what that article says. Feel free to read/re-read the article. There’s nothing in there about Sela Sports’ wealth; this is the only mention of Sela Sports:

    “Various international super clubs have also been linked with potential ownership of MLS teams and Saudi Arabian sports marketing group Sela Sport recently took over the New York Cosmos organization, which had previously indicated its intention to be part of MLS one day.”

    I don’t know anything about Sela Sports’ finances. For all I know, they may be the wealthiest sports marketing firm on the planet. But assuming that they have “vast amounts of wealth” and that they will fund the Cosmos with boatloads of cash just because they are Saudi seems pretty foolish to me.

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  • wyofan

    i was in Manchester, UK and they were selling Cosmos jerseys in the airport souvenir shops. just sayin’

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  • Duneman

    Ya…i had been more Mashalls/TJ Max, but heard some people talking about Ross getting MLS kits, etc. I checked it out and you can find some good ones. I was there the other day and saw Cosmos, Milan, Newcastle etc….and even better I found some US Men’s (older blue kit) for about $30 and MLS ones for $19!!…they were the 2010 version i think…I have gone back 2-3 times so now have FC Dallas, Revolution, Salt Lake, LA Galaxy..all for $19…not too bad.

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  • Graham

    Actually, both Seattle and Portland were defunct for over a decade before returning to the A-League (APSL – whatever you want to call it). Vancouver was defunct for longer than that.

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  • b

    Hilarious but FYI since you must not be familiar with the league to be making such a comment, MLS has a salary cap, unlike the NASL of the 70s-80s.

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  • b

    If the Midwest gets more teams, the best options are St Louis (near that hill neighborhood where most of the 1950 US team was from)), Minneapolis (downtown), and Detroit (not within the city but in the wealthy suburbs to the northwest).

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  • buckyball

    So, the NASL ownership board approved this Cosmos addition unanimously.

    Do you suppose there was a truly candid moment before the vote when the Cosmos people said, “Listen little buddies. We’re here for two years max. We want that 20th MLS slot – sorry, Tampa, Ft Lauderdale! So, we’re gonna outspend you massively with middle east money and pound on you every game so we’ll look like winners. The good news is that as the heels of NASL we’ll draw you some big crowds craving our fail. The bad news is at the first MLS sniff, we’re leaving and not looking back. So- how about some short-term profit, boys?”

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  • slowleftarm

    Too be fair to the “haters” until this they were a fake theam that didn’t exist.

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  • BSU SC

    You can feel free to do a simple google search. They have locations on 3 continents and are highly invested in Ittihad FC, one of the wealthiest clubs in Saudi Arabia. Do you really think this organization would invest millions of dollars into the Cosmos without having the finances to do so?

    I don’t know why you’re trying to argue about this, but it’s foolish and asinine to assume that a company would purchase a sports franchise (in New York of all places) and then not invest into it. It’s $25 million to own a NASL team. That should tell you something right there.

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  • BSU SC

    …and this team had to be approved by the NASL board (team owners). Do you really think they would approve a team that had no intention of being competitive? Seems pretty foolish to think otherwise.

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  • Nap time for Pele

    Having the money to join the NASL and being financially able to compete in MLS are two very different things, and we’re talking about two very different levels of wealth.

    I’m sure that the NASL Board of Governors is convinced that the Cosmos have the means to be competitive … in the NASL. I doubt that they care or even considered whether Sela Sports can compete financially in MLS.

    You were the one who claimed that Sela has “vast amounts of wealth” and that they will only be held back by MLS’ salary cap. I’m just trying to figure out if you really know what you’re talking about or are just making stuff up, and I think I’ve got my answer. Thanks.

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  • old grey mullet

    When the Cosmos were drawing 70k a game, they were doing it in New Jersey, at the meadowlands. True story.

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  • dan

    They will be in NASL max 2 years, maybe 1. Garber probably twisted their arm to start playing and prove they can be successful to continue the nasl to mls tradition of past MLS expansions.

    I have to say though this is GREAT PR for the NASL.

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  • dan

    Timbers, Sounders and SKC? That’s an interesting group of clubs to say are credits to this league.

    Either way, I think the Cosmos will probably blow out the league in attendance and fanfare. They are the first and only team that will be in MLS that can boast a massive history being a massive club. Everyone in the world knows the Cosmos.

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  • Rabid RBNY

    1 hr and 40min public transit from NYC. 40 min drive from Williamsburg/Greenpoint. FC Mets!

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  • Slatch

    NASL knows many clubs use it as stepping stone and they are fine with it. That’s just part of being a 2nd division league. Between this and the Wynalda thing in ATL, I think they are just happy with all the recent media coverage.

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  • Roderick

    You should check the MLS average attendance numbers. The Cosmos never “drew” 70k unless you mean on an occasion in which case so have some MLS teams.

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  • DS

    Agreed Todd – I’m an avid player and fan in NYC, and have no loyalty or interest in the 3rd division Cosmos relaunch. Now if it was in a brand new SSS in Queens, in MLS, then I’d be buying some tickets for sure. Although I have to admit, the color scheme and logo are dated and corny. Yeah I said it.

    Btw Don – how can you be such an avid fan already? Methinks you work for the Cosmos – you doth protest too much.

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  • don

    Yes, full disclosure, I have to admit the Cosmos pay me a salary to sit on my couch and defend their brand on SBI.

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  • BSU SC

    I never said anything about MLS (besides the article regarding the DC United owners). My point was that there is no reason to assume that Sela Sports can not field a successful NASL team based on what is publically known about them, but for whatever reason you have difficulty accepting that. Now you want to change the topic from “we can’t assume they’ll be able to run an organization” to “well…ok but this doesn’t mean they can put together a MLS team”. Why would the NASL board care about whether or not this team can one day play in MLS? They’re not applying to play in MLS and I never said that they were.

    I never claimed to have “insider information”. I simply made a statement on the information available. You can doubt it all you want but until you are able to provide documented proof, then you doing nothing more than stating an opinion…or making stuff up. The Cosmos will be a professional soccer team playing in the NASL and the league believes they have the financial backing to do so. End of story.

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  • Todd C

    The Cosmos brand and appeal had to do with having some of the greatest soccer players on the planet at that time on the team, and the excitement of soccer actually be appreciated in the US. There is ZERO chance the Cosmos will have any true WORLD CLASS talent playing for the team until the MLS as a league can attract ($$$) that type of player. I hope NYC does have a popular/quality franchise, but to think some retro jerseys and a cool stadium will bring instant success is just ignorant. Too much hype for a team that is no longer relevant but I’m all for the MLS to grow and have global exposure. #DOOP

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  • BSU SC

    “We got as deep a pockets as anybody in the game.”

    -Seamus O’Brien, NY Cosmos Chairman

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  • thomas

    The original NASL didn’t simply go bankrupt, it challenged Fifa for overall control of the game and was crushed like a fly. They were immensely naive.

    Read up on the Mexico 86 hosting decision.

    Like

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