Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By IVES GALARCEP
The New York Cosmos have clear aspirations for a future in Major League Soccer, and have turned to a man with MLS experience to lead the club.
The Cosmos have named former New York Red Bulls managing director Erik Stover as the team’s new Chief Operating Officer. He will over see all facets of the club, both on the field and off the field.
“I’m excited to be part of the rebirth of the New York Cosmos,” Stover said in a team-issued release. “Seamus O’Brien and the rest of the board have a vision to build a proper soccer club in New York. We have a great legacy to live up to and I’m eager to get started right away.”
Stover enjoyed an impressive stint as Red Bulls managing director, overseeing the construction of Red Bull Arena. He was also in charge when the team made a run to the 2008 MLS Cup Final.
“With his knowledge of the local community, combined with a deep experience in soccer, stadium management and the sports and entertainment industry, Erik has the perfect credentials to lead the management of the Cosmos franchise,” said Cosmos Chairman Seamus O’Brien in a team-issued release. “We are delighted to have him on board and look forward to working with him day to day as we retrace our journey back to the top of soccer in North America”
Stover was with the Red Bulls from May 2008 to April of 2011, before being part of a front-office purge driven by former Red Bulls general manager Erik Soler, who replaced Stover with Chris Heck, who lasted only a year with the team.
My take on the hire? When Stover took over as managing director of the Red Bulls, he took over with minimal soccer experience, and yes, at the time I bashed New York for hiring him for that reason. He didn’t let that stop him from learning on the job and becoming a strong managing director for the club. Though he is still better at off-the-field matters, he has also proven to be smart enough to find the right people to help him with areas where he isn’t as proficient. In short, he is the perfect hire for a club looking to join MLS, and build a soccer stadium in New York.
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