They're back; well, kinda/sorta.
The New York Cosmos announced via their official website on Thursday that they will be joining the North American Soccer League in 2013. The following was included in that official statement: "The owners of the Club are committed to running the team to the highest professional standards both on and off the field. As we look to the future, on a national and international stage, we remain conscious of the Club's unique and unmatched history, and the role this has played in the lives of so many of our fans. It is with this legacy in our heart that we set our minds to the future." The statement also had one sentence that should grab the attention of all Major League Soccer fans.
"Our ultimate goal is to play at the very highest level and we feel today's announcement is the first step in that direction."
The Cosmos name has been heavily mentioned by New York Red Bulls fans since it was announced near the end of June that a NYC-based MLS club, commonly referred to simply as "NY2," could be formed within the next several years. That team, if those in the MLS front office have their way, will call Flushing Meadows their home. The current New York Cosmos, such as they are, have not yet announced where they will play matches next summer. According to Grant Wahl, the Cosmos are looking to play in either Queens or Long Island.
Many Red Bulls fans posting on social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter, outside of those only making snarky comments and jokes about the Cosmos, speculated on how Thursday's announcement will affect RBNY. The immediate and short answer is "not one bit." This coming Sunday, the Red Bulls will be hosting the Seattle Sounders in a match that will affect the top one-third of the standings for the top flight soccer league in this country. The Cosmos, on the other hand, are a year away from playing against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in Division II contests. Essentially, people in the NYC/NJ area who probably wouldn't be going to Red Bulls games anyway will have a different entertainment choice next summer. No big deal.
It would seem, however, that this is a first step for the Cosmos eventually joining MLS. The Montreal Impact, like the Cosmos will be next year, were a NASL club when they were announced as a then future MLS expansion team back in 2010. The Impact joined the league this past spring. One can logically assume that MLS would love any NYC franchise to have the Cosmos name and legacy.
The matter isn't as black and white as some think, though. Before any serious conversations regarding the Cosmos joining MLS arise, the team should first be forced to prove that they can thrive as have, for example, fellow NASL side San Antonio Scorpions. There is also the case of USL team Orlando City, who are actively attempting to be the newest MLS club whenever the league expands to 20 teams.
All things considered, the Cosmos are still the most famous and recognizable American soccer franchise in history; whether Red Bulls fans like to admit that fact or not. The Cosmos are not yet a Major League Soccer team, but Thursday's announcement has left many "in the know" individuals and this Red Bulls fan with one thought: NY2 sure have a greener look to them this afternoon.
- Sports & Recreation
- New York Cosmos
- Major League Soccer
- North American Soccer League