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New York Cosmos Join NASL for 2013

2012 July 12

The North American Soccer League announced this afternoon that the New York Cosmos will be the newest team to join the league. The projected start date for the team is the spring of 2013 and a venue for the team was not announced.

“We are extremely proud to welcome the New York Cosmos to the North American Soccer League,” said NASL Commissioner David Downs. “As we continue to expand the league and help grow professional soccer in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean, the Cosmos brand and their strong ownership group are a perfect fit with us.  The history of the Cosmos and soccer in the New York City area are intertwined.  Bringing the Cosmos into the NASL is a logical next step as we embrace the heritage of our own past and now reunite the Cosmos, Strikers, Rowdies and several markets with ties to the NASL’s early days.  Most importantly, we look forward to the Cosmos enhancing the quality of our league both on and off the field.”

In a letter to Cosmos fans, Chairman Seamus O’Brien stated, “From Pelé and Messing to Chinaglia, Carlos Alberto and Beckenbauer, the Cosmos have always stood for excellence. While we celebrate and embrace our rich heritage, we hope you’ll join us as we create new memories. We’re excited about this first step and we’ll have more announcements and information regarding the team and our home stadium in the very near future.”

Here is the press release:

NEW YORK (July 12, 2012)  ̶  The North American Soccer League (NASL) today announced that the New York Cosmos have joined the NASL and will begin league play in the 2013 season. The NASL Board of Governors unanimously approved the Cosmos’ membership during its meetings this week in New York.

It’s been nearly 30 years since the Cosmos, an iconic global soccer brand, have played in a professional league. Yet throughout the absence from the pitch, the franchise has maintained a loyal and dedicated fan following. The team expects to announce more details about its stadium, ticket sales, soccer operations staff and players in the near future.

Over two days of meetings, that concluded today, the NASL Board of Governors also addressed a variety of league matters, including hearing presentations from a record number of potential expansion team owners and discussing possible changes to the league’s competition structure for upcoming seasons.

The Cosmos ownership group New York Cosmos LLC is an international partnership led by industry veteran Seamus O’Brien. They are committed to putting the brand back at the forefront of North American soccer. The New York Cosmos began play in 1971, spending fourteen seasons in the earlier NASL, winning five Soccer Bowl trophies and bringing some of the biggest names in world soccer history to North America.  The Cosmos last won the NASL Soccer Bowl in 1982.

“We are extremely proud to welcome the New York Cosmos to the North American Soccer League,” said NASL Commissioner David Downs. “As we continue to expand the league and help grow professional soccer in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean, the Cosmos brand and their strong ownership group are a perfect fit with us.  The history of the Cosmos and soccer in the New York City area are intertwined.  Bringing the Cosmos into the NASL is a logical next step as we embrace the heritage of our own past and now reunite the Cosmos, Strikers, Rowdies and several markets with ties to the NASL’s early days.  Most importantly, we look forward to the Cosmos enhancing the quality of our league both on and off the field.”

Seamus O’Brien, Chairman of the New York Cosmos, said, “We are delighted to return to our historic home with the NASL and bring the New York Cosmos back to the playing field. We are committed to running the franchise with the highest possible standards on and off the field, and look forward to putting together a competitive and entertaining team our fans can be proud of.”

Aaron Davidson, the Chairman of the NASL Board of Governors, stated, “The team owners are thrilled to welcome the Cosmos back to their birthplace and home, the NASL.  The Cosmos ownership group’s decision to join the NASL is the ultimate validation of our efforts to bring back the league which laid the foundation for soccer in North America.  We look forward to respectfully honoring the legacy of the NASL and Cosmos of the 1970’s – 1980’s as we grow today’s NASL and play our role in driving the further development and maturation of soccer in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.”

About The North American Soccer League:

The North American Soccer League℠ is the Division 2 men’s outdoor professional soccer league in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. The NASL member teams are:  Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks, FC Edmonton, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, New York Cosmos (beginning play in 2013), Minnesota Stars FC, Puerto Rico Islanders, San Antonio Scorpions FC, Tampa Bay Rowdies and Ottawa (beginning play in 2014).

 

 

28 Responses
  1. Lego7 permalink
    July 12, 2012

    It all seems to coincide with MLS’ stadium proposal in Flushing Meadow-Corona Park as they push for their 20th team. NASL should be a good launching point for the Cosmos group to make their case as that 20th team.

  2. July 12, 2012

    I think you are exactly correct Lego 7. I will have more information on all of this mid afternoon. I will be talking to Commissioner Downs.

  3. GaelForce permalink
    July 12, 2012

    If I was the owner of a team in say Rochester or Orlando, I’d be taking a really hard look at things right now!

  4. jpDWYL permalink
    July 12, 2012

    GaelForce, I’d be thinking the same thing. Especially if I’m Orlando. This really does look like a good way to build up the team and fan base well they work on a stadium for MLS

  5. GaelForce permalink
    July 12, 2012

    Well if Orlando and New York are the 2 teams fighting for #20 in MLS then having the Cosmos at a higher level might have alarm bells ringing in Florida.

    There’s also the possibility that MLS are involved in this? They could have told the Cosmos to do a few years in NASL?

    Also BQ, when you’re talking to Downs any chance you could try get some info on the other potential teams mentioned in their press release? “record number of potential expansions team owners” sounds good!

  6. Jeremy permalink
    July 12, 2012

    Can someone send the Wilf’s that message? 🙂

  7. Lee permalink
    July 12, 2012

    I just hope to catch Eric Cantona at the NSC next year…..

  8. Tom permalink
    July 12, 2012

    Something to keep in mind if one of the potential new teams is coming from any other league (USL, PDL, NPSL, etc…) is that they would probably not announce their intentions to leave until their current season is over.

  9. Soccer Boy permalink
    July 12, 2012

    Two new teams in the NASL next year. This is great! I just hope this does not inspire anyone to change the “MN Stars FC” to the the “MN Kicks.”

  10. yankiboy permalink
    July 12, 2012

    ^In the case of an NPSL club, I think that they’d be shouting it from the rooftops of wherever they have their front office.

    In the case of PDL, wouldn’t surprise me if they did the same.

    In the case of a USLPRO club, yeah–they’d probably wait and the announcement would most likely be followed by a statement from from USL brass that they are considering taking some sort of legal action against them (but hey, maybe those days are all behind us, in the rear view mirror…)

  11. yankiboy permalink
    July 12, 2012

    Jack Bell is reporting that that Nostalgia FC will start off playing at Hofstra (adding at least another hour and some change to my road trip):

    http://goal.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/12/cosmos-to-play-in-n-a-s-l-in-13/

  12. July 12, 2012

    Super!!!
    New York Cosmos !!!
    Fort Lauderdale Strikers!!!
    Tampa Bay Rowdies !!!
    WELCOME!!!!

  13. bullsear permalink
    July 12, 2012

    Fantastic news!

    Now to get that other pesky third continental timezone.

  14. Stephen permalink
    July 12, 2012

    First thing I see, a rushed development. They will play in 2013? This gives me an alarm bell that another team may be folding? Hmm..

    Secondly, what is New York Cosmos LLC? I thought Sela(?) Sports (the Arabian owners) bought the team back in the Spring?

    Thirdly, and I think Lego7 brings up a great point, is this the same group who was talking to MLS about Flushing Meadow-Corona Park location?

  15. Mike permalink
    July 12, 2012

    With the success of the Minnesota Stars in the NASL, and a great and steady fan base I was hoping they’d be next to the MSL. I don’t think they can compete with the Cosmos and the New York market. I guess we’ll see.

    Jeremy +1

  16. July 12, 2012

    Great steady fan base? Sounds like we are being a bit sarcastic, Mike.

    If you track back on IMS, Commissioner Downs has been saying for a while now that there would be two teams announcing for 2013. I don’t see that as rushed although I agree, another year would mean they would be a bit more ready and solid. Look at the Scorpions as an example.

    MLS is talking about Flushing, not any particular group. MLS has said for some time now they are taking the lead in finding a space to build a stadium for the next NY franchise.

  17. Lego7 permalink
    July 12, 2012

    If all goes right, we may get an example as early as next year of this potential rivalry that Garber always seems to bring up when discussing NYC2.

    NY Cosmos vs. NY Red Bulls… US Open Cup 2013. 😉

  18. Stephen permalink
    July 12, 2012

    This does raise a couple of interesting questions along the lines of Cosmos and MLS.

    1. MLS is taking the lead to get a stadium in NYC for an MLS team, not an NASL team. If the Cosmos are NOT picked to join MLS, can they survive in a market with 2 MLS teams?

    2. Will the cult following go to a Division 2 Cosmos game after so much was said about MLS? If they perform poorly in the sales department, would the owners pull out of trying to get to MLS? How long would that take I wonder?

    I can’t expect anybody to reasonably answer these questions, but they are definately things to ponder.

  19. Danwolf permalink
    July 12, 2012

    Well there is a lot that could come from this. If the Cosmos lose out on the second NY MLS team id hope they would consider staying in NASL and help it become to MLS what the AFL was to the NFL.

    I would love to see the NASL push MLS into being a free league where MLS didn’t have so many lotteries and players can sign with any team that offers them a contract when their contract is up with their current club.

    I know NASL is not there yet, far form it but it would be nice to see it one day.

  20. ERic permalink
    July 12, 2012

    Oops. Messed up my geography. I should’ve said Loudoun County, VA.

  21. GaelForce permalink
    July 12, 2012

    As I said earlier, whos to say MLS are not involved here? The Cosmos are saying this is a stepping stone and they wouldn’t be saying that without reason. This is the NY2 team without doubt. Mark my words!

  22. kevthegerman permalink
    July 12, 2012

    Dang, there goes San Antonio’s chances for awhile…

  23. BrazilYinzer permalink
    July 12, 2012

    Good luck to the Cosmos, hope this works out for them.

    Looks like the brand still carries some weight, this announcement even got some space in one of Brazil’s biggest sports sites:
    http://globoesporte.globo.com/futebol/futebol-internacional/noticia/2012/07/cosmos-vai-voltar-aos-campos-mas-nao-na-mesma-liga-de-becks-e-henry.html

  24. WSW permalink
    July 12, 2012

    Great news for NASL….

    I agree ORL needs to go to NASL, USL is starting to become a one team league…maybe the casual ORL fans don’r see a difference. If I was a fan of any other team besides ORL i would be pissed….D2 team in a D3/D4 league.

  25. tomASS permalink
    July 13, 2012

    When do they sign Pele?

  26. July 13, 2012

    this may have a big effect on Orlando City’s future. Will they make the move up now to NASL?

  27. John permalink
    July 21, 2012

    maybe the new phoniex team can prevent USL PRO form becoming a team league

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