NEW YORK COSMOS: Number 9 Strikes His Final Goal.
From the ages of ten through fifteen or so, I was one of those kids who attended New York Cosmos games at the old Meadowlands. Basketball was the first sport I ever played and had a passion for. And Baseball was and always will be my first true love in life. Hockey, then Football found my favor. However, Soccer was the first sport I was ever exposed to as a child. Passed down to me from my Pop, I still maintain an Old World love for the game, and a passion for our favorite team outside this country.
I am here to tell you now - In those days, attending games, being a fan, and rooting-on the Cosmos, was as thrilling a time for me, as any time I've spent rooting-on my regular teams. For me, the late 70's was a era made memorable by Chris Chambliss' home run in game five of the 1976 ALCS; because I was there; - by Ron Greschner's clinching goal against the Islanders in 1979; and by watching Pele, Franz Beckenbauer, Carlos Alberto, and Giorgio Chinaglia win NASL Championships together.
Giorgio Chinaglia was as much a great sports figure to me, and in my opinion, as much a super star in this city, as there ever was. I'm happy to have been a witness to that whole Cosmos phenomenon back then. And I am happy and feel fortunate to have seen the great Giorgio Chinaglia play in person.
Yes, he was great; as great as any player was in their respective sport. At least that's the way this kid saw things back then. And I still feel that way today.
Rest in Peace, and thank you.