Tuesday, August 06, 2013
N.Y. Cosmos - Welcome Back To Cosmos Country
...But Cosmos Country Looks Very Differently From When They Ruled Last.
Now that the New York Cosmos have joined the reformed North American Soccer League and played an official game in the local area (Hofsta) again, I can believe it. I can now say with certainty, the Cosmos are (actually) back.
I care. I do. I was a tremendous fan of the original team, attending many games between 1977 and 1980. Pele of course got all the headlines, but I was a Giorgio Chinaglia supporter. The rift between the two soccer legends was no great secret, and fans were almost made to chose sides. Rest his soul - as he is not here to witness the return of the team he helped make history with. But it's good to see some of the old faces resurface to re-launch the Cosmos.
Can they regain their former mega-status and glory? Doubtful. The NASL is not even a top tier league anymore. The Red Bulls and the MLS now dominate the soccer landscape, but I say that in the loosest of terms. Plus, there is additionally a New York City team joining the circuit shortly - New York City FC. So what's a soccer fan to do, or the Cosmos for the matter?
The Cosmos joining the MLS would have been nice - a nice fit that is. That possibility seems remote now. Regardless, the club and the MLS have different ideas. MLS runs a "socialist" omni-brand system, and the Cosmos, then as now, chose to operate as raging capitalists. Yeah, just like the good ol' days. I can't say I'm an avid follower of MLS soccer. Honestly, I maintain only mild interest in the Red Bulls. I am in no way captivated by today's circuit like I was as a ten, eleven, twelve, and even thirteen year old boy consumed with the NASL. Back then, Cosmos versus the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers really meant something. Today? I'm going to have to find a way to reinvest myself in their product and play. That means the Cosmos will need to be wildly creative and....good.
I don't know what happens from here. But I'm glad they're back