Top Stories

Evening Ticker: Garber tempers Cosmos’ MLS hopes, Roma for sale and more

Don Garber 1 (

Photo by


It's long been a nearly foregone conclusion that if New York is to receive a second MLS franchise, it would be under the banner of the once-defunct New York Cosmos. But MLS Commissioner Don Garber said that the MLS isn't totally sold just yet on making the Cosmos a future franchise.

"We're in discussions with the Cosmos but also with other ownership groups," Garber said during a conference call this afternoon. "We've got to continue to ensure that any group we can speak to seriously about MLS expansion needs to have the financial capabilities, long-term vision and the capability to get a stadium built and developed."

Garber also said that he had a great amount of respect for the marketing ability of the New York Club. The Cosmos recently acquired two youth clubs, one in Queens, NY and the other in Los Angeles, and hired Manchester United great Eric Cantona as director of soccer. MLS Executive Vice President Dan Courtemanche told the BBC that the MLS would most likely add a second team to the New York market for the 2014 season.

Here are some more stories to round out your Tuesday.


AS Roma has confirmed the club has received several offers to take over the Italian side. Intapetroli, the current owners of Roma, refused to confirm the number of offers on the table but reports out of the Italian media say around five offers are currently being considered. The reports also say that the most serious offer was made by and Abu-Dhabi based investment firm representing, among others, Boston Red Sox part-owner Thomas DiBenedetto. The offers will be weighed by Unicredit bank and no timetable for a decision has been announced.


The Houston city council is currently weighing a tax rebate that could refund the Houston Dynamo up to $3 million in sales' tax breaks as part of the club's proposed $60 million stadium. The proposed stadium, which would also host Texas Southern University football games, is set to open in the spring of 2012. The city council is expected to vote on the proposal on Wednesday.


The day after the close of a wild and very expensive transfer window, UEFA issued a strongly-worded statement reminding clubs of looming financial fair play regulations.

"UEFA is aware of the recent transfer activity across Europe and is confident that clubs are increasingly aware of the nature of its financial fair play regulations which require them to balance their books," the statement read.

Most in danger of violating these rules, which go into effect in the fall of 2012, could be Chelsea who announced yesterday losses of nearly 71 million pounds for the 2009-2010 season before spending a combined 75 million pounds on Fernando Torres and David Luiz.


In another bizzare twist in the Carolina Railhawks' tumultuous offseason, the 2010 USSF Divison 2 finalists were forced to auction off their logos, mascots and website via, of all places, eBay. For $14,999, the still unknown highest bidder bought the trademark for a club in crisis. Last December, Carolina's owners dissolved and the NASL was forced to take ownership with the Railhawks having their D2 sanctioning revoked.


What do you think of tonight's stories? Could the MLS really see a New York franchise that isn't the Cosmos? Excited about Roma's impending sale? Worried some of the top teams might be shut out of the Champions League?

Share your thoughts below.



  1. Financially, I think DC is one of the better off teams and the best of the teams still without a stadium.

    Our problem is the bill for RFK and wasted costs on crap players. This season looks up though, taking in some youth which has always done United well and Benny seems to be stabilizing the ship.

    We have a history unlike any other in the league. The Don should be doing everything in his power to help us get a stadium. It’s like saying “Let’s let the pyramids rot” or “who cares about the Great Wall” all of those are old. It’s keeping history and a club whose supporters are still in the top 5 and a team that’ll bounce back next season.

  2. I read something by Ridge Mahoney talking about how it’s all about the MLS contract with adidas. Recent deals with FC Barcelona and Boca Juniors have fallen through because they’re tight with Nike, and since the Cosmos jersey deal is with Umbro (owned by Nike), it’ll never happen unless they switch to adidas.

    Just sayin’ Ives, you may wanna look into it.

  3. No this is not a joke. They have big names with both playing and coaching experience. Experience overseas and domestic. Millions of dollars have already been spent with NYC advertising, purchasing two developmental academies to feed the team, hiring Cobi Jones (MLS expert), Giovanni Saverese (NY-area expert) and Eric Cantona (football expert) to guide the organization, and they haven’t even put together a team.

    What does Miami have?

  4. Well Ives, I wouldn’t say he was “tempering their hopes.” I think the Cosmos’ efforts to this point represent a little more than “hope.” I also think more what he was doing was posturing to establish MLS’ bartering position and make sure the Cosmos understand they will have to have a solid plan in place, and can’t just get things done on name alone. However, looking at the staff the Cosmos already have in place, the youth development they’re already working on, etc., it’s hard to imagine them not being in the MLS expansion future. As someone else above said, a second NY team is simply good business for MLS. I see lots of filled seats with a NYRB/NY Cosmos match, especially with high profile DP’s involved on both sides.

  5. So you are telling me that beckhams money is more than say a multi billion dollar energy drink corporation? Ha ha. The red Bulls already have two high class dps and if wanted could a third andeven a fourth if allowed.

  6. come on bob….front page of the Cosmos website is a guy holding an Umbro jersey. They may have a Nike deal, but I can’t imagine that Adidas wouldn’t/couldn’t buy it out by 2014. That’s a long ways away.

  7. The Jets stadium didn’t fly because they wanted to build it on the West Side of Manhattan and would have had to spend a bunch of money to put a lid on the rail yards. That cost, combined with the neighborhood groups, basically killed it. As you note, the most likley site for a Cosmos (or whoever) stadium is in Queens, near CitiField, not a a residential site, and depending on the precise location is either a total non-issue as far as development or an area that everyone basically agrees is badly in need of redevelopment. The only real question appears to be whether those involved with the site/club can get their act together in a reasonable amount of time.

  8. i couldn’t agree more about not counting previous cups. i cannot stand, in any sport, when someone says, “oh, that was so long ago, it doesn’t count.” generally, i hear that from barca fans in regards to madrid. or if i’m talking to a Pats fan and they know i’m a raiders fan. sure, the current state of the team may not be in the best of shape, but to completely discredit previous trophies is a joke.

    as for finances, i believe DCU’s biggest issue is the monthly lease bill for RFK. money down the drain.

  9. How the hell are “Cosmos” gonig ot pull off building a stadium ni the city itself?? The bloody Jets tried it a few years back andwe all saw what happened.

    The only way I see a second team in NYC is one owned by Willpont(SP) with a stadium built where Shea Stadium stood, I seriously do not see any other way that it can be accomplished WITH A STADIUM inside one of the 5 boroughs…

  10. I agree. Beckham has been gauranteed a MLS franchise in his contract. It’s no large leap of faith that the Cosmos is on hold for him and him alone.


    I worry a lot about the idea of resurrecting the Cosmos brand. When you think of what lead to the ultimate demise of the NASL, the Cosmos come to mind. With a legacy that laughs at the possibility of a salary cap, I fear that the big pockets funding the team will force an arms race amongst the MLS teams.

    Think of the number of today’s global stars who will be pushing 30+ by 2014 and how they may be in a similar position as Beckham was in 2005. I think you could find 3 of today’s biggest names who’ll gladly go to New York for a few million when the time comes. They’ll have enough legs for a few years and their DP status will free up the (by-then-increased) cap to be used on the other 8 positions.

    No MLS team currently has the (responsible) means to afford three Beckham-level payouts… but the Cosmos, backed by, say, a guy who has the wealth of a David Beckham could easily swing it.

    I don’t know if that’s a good thing.

  11. I know im a little late responding to this but im not sure how DC is a financial black hole? Sure their attendance was down due to what is now 2 lackluster seasons in a row. However, their season average of 14,500 is in the middle of the pack for all MLS teams. Not bad for the worst team in the league. I guess I can’t comment on the teams financial situation as far as contracts by I believe DC only has one DP in boskovic (I may be wrong on this one), far less than other teams. Also, for those comments on DC trophies being meaningless because they haven’t won anything recently. How about the 07 supporters sheild and the 08 U.S. open cup. Does two years ago not count? And discounting trophies of old in general I don’t get. A club with history doesn’t matter? Okay if you say so. But I’ll take 4 MLS cups, 4 supporters shield, 2 U.S. open cups and a Concacaf Champions League trophy. I guess it would be easy to get jealous and want to find some way to dismiss that impressive lot. And for the future of DC United. I think its looking up. Not necessarily next year, but with the moves we made the team should be improved. A hopefully with a couple similar additions over the next few years, maybe (a wishful maybe) with davies this year, we’ll be able to make a playoff run.

  12. Ok DC/San Jose fan.. I’ve been to RFK and it was awful. I can’t imagine that little college field San Jose plays at is much better. Also DC was dead last this past season. So what do trophies from 10 years ago have to do with the current state of these teams? I have no idea.

  13. I totally agree but is it possible that Byrne is just house sitting the Cosmos brand until Beckham…and his own $$$…gets involved (after ties are cut with the Galaxy)????

  14. If you want to know about Terry Byrne’s credibility, just read “The Beckham Experiment.” Tim Leiweke effectively gave Bryne and 19 Entertainment control of the Galaxy (19 hired Ruud Gullit), and turned it into an absolute disaster until Bruce Arena replaced Gullit and Alexi Lalas as coach and general manager. Byrne might be Beckham’s best mate but he has no place in club management. Besides, how much money does the Cosmos actually have? Cosmos “management” is trying to make the Cosmos a fait acompli before investing any serious money. If Garber really gives these people a franchise, then he has no business being commissioner of Major League Lacrosse or the WNBA, let alone MLS.

  15. @SBI comment the Mets owner is being financially forced to sell off large shares of the baseball team ownership.. they are not in a good financial situation!

  16. Off topic, but does anybody know if I were to purchase fox soccer tv today would my subscription last for a year from today, or would it be pro rated for the rest of the european season?

  17. Well, the Wilpons don’t look like they’ll be involved in MLS in New York any time soon, given their ties to Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

  18. So, most teams are in the red and your answer is to spend more money? Expansion, particularly smart expansion (see pretty much every new market since 2005), raises money by increases in tv deals, merchandise, and sponsorship. If NY2 is fairly successful (18k+ attendence) you have a good base to make that push to the next level and you can solely focus on raising revenue to continue and raise the salary budget (not cap, since most teams spend above the “cap” as is). And the only struggling club that the league really has is DC (now that RBNY is out of Giants Stadium). Other clubs may not have the attendences you like, but financially they are very viable. Only DC is a financial black hole at this point.

  19. Hahahaha…I like how you consider DC and San Jose struggling teams even though we still have teams that combined don’t have the amount of trophies that these two clubs have combined.

  20. There was an article this past month that interviewed the Cosmos brain-trust (can’t remember where I saw it). They have plans for a stadium, not one that they’d own outright, but rather they want to have the owner’s of the Mets build it/operate it, and they’d be the primary tenant. If I remember correctly, they’re in advanced discussions regarding this. If the Cosmos & Mets combine for the “bid” there really aren’t any other groups that have made a legitimate effort to go after the NY franchise rights, so Garber pretty much has no other choice.

    (SBI-If the Mets/Madoff stuff is as bad as it’s starting to sounds, the Mets aren’t going to be involved in ANYTHING at all.)

  21. Don Garber’s comments translated for you: “All of this excitement over the Cosmos is really effecting our negotiating position with them. If I want to ensure as close to the full franchise fee as possible, I’d better create the illusion of a real alternative.”

    The New York Cosmos in MLS is just good business for everyone involved.

  22. they cosmos need to focus 10% of their efforts on a realistic stadium plan they can put into action quickly. The first one with a stadium plan gets the team.

  23. I call shenanigans. How can any other investment group compete with the Cosmos brand name and media presence? I think Garber is just trying to speed up the process.

  24. what infrastructure? They hired Cobi and paid Cantona to market. Gotschee and LAFC are money pits that will not last and they have no plans for a stadium or enough money to make it work. Beackham’s Masseuse can’t fund this thing by himself.


Leave a Comment