The rumors of a New York Cosmos revival have circulated for a better part of three decades, but the first real signs of a potential comeback for the storied club have emerged.
A group has purchased the rights to the New York Cosmos brand and stand poised to capitalize on Major League Soccer's desire to add a second New York team after announcing its return at a New York soccer event on Sunday.
“Our plan has several phases, but if you fast-forward, it’s our aspiration to play at the highest level in this country and that’s M.L.S.,” Joe Fraga, executive director of the Cosmos, told The New York Times. “And we are serious. We want to make it relevant again, we want kids to know what the Cosmos were and are, to bring the soccer dream back to the city.”
MLS commissioner Don Garber has repeated in recent weeks that MLS wants New York to be awarded the 20th MLS franchise after Portland, Vancouver and Montreal take the league's number of teams to 19.
The New York Red Bulls are in favor of the addition of a second team in its home market, with Red Bull global soccer chief Dietmar Beiersdorfer recently telling SBI that a second New York team would help MLS and give the Red Bulls a valuable rival.
So will the Cosmos be Major League Soccer's 20th team? It will if the new Cosmos ownership group can flex the financial muscle MLS likes to see from ownership groups, and if the team can secure a stadium, there is little doubt the Cosmos will be playing in MLS before long.
My thoughts on a Cosmos return? I wondered if Peppe Pinton would ever A) actually sell the team's naming rights and B) if anyone would ever pay the steep price for them. However the final deal came about, when viral marketing evidence started to pop up around New York with Cosmos logos emerging on stickers around the city, you knew something was afoot. A Cosmos return can succeed if the ownership group has the deep pockets and sharp leadership necessary to succed as a new team in MLS.
A second New York team can succeed, even though a less-than-soldout Red Bull Arena would suggest otherwise, but Red Bull has begun to flex its financial muscle and should establish a strong foothold before a Cosmos team would arrive in two or three years. Having two quality MLS teams in New York would tap into the strong soccer fanbase in the area as well as increase Major League Soccer's profile nationally and internationally.
What do you think of this development? Like the idea of the Cosmos returning to the American soccer landscape? Hate the idea of a second New York team?
Share your thoughts below.