Is David Beckham Heading to the NASL’s New York Cosmos?
According to a report in the Irish newspaper the Sunday World, a senior Cosmos source has confirmed that discussions are underway with David Beckham and his advisers to bring the multimillionaire soccer player in as part of the ownership group of the team with the possibility of someday playing for the team. The report said a decision is coming soon. That “senior official” told the Sunday World, “David has confirmed his interest and we expect an announcement before Christmas.”
Beckham has recently announced that after 6 seasons with the LA Galaxy he will leave the club after the 2012 MLS Cup, which will be played in Los Angeles at Home Depot Center next Sunday, December 2. Beckham has a clause in his contract that he can someday own a team in MLS after he retires.
“I’ve had an incredibly special time playing for the LA Galaxy, however, I wanted to experience one last challenge before the end of my playing career,” said Beckham in a prepared statement which led many to speculate on what that “one last challenge” is? The BBC reported that Beckham’s agent had received offers from teams in Australia, Brazil, China, and several in Europe.
This is not the first time Beckham has been linked to the New York Cosmos 2.0. In 2010 the former Manchester United midfielder was said to be interested in the organization after the Cosmos name had been purchased by Paul Kemsley, who was an investment banker and once the director at Tottenham. Beckham’s personal agent Terry Byrne also bought into the resurrected Cosmos, but both he and Kemsley eventually sold the corporation after a great deal of marketing with no actual team to stand behind. The name was then sold to Seamus O’Brien and Saudi Arabia’s Sela Sports who announced in July that they would be actually fielding a team in 2013 that would play in the 2-year-old North American Soccer League.
The newest report says Beckham would secure a partnership with the team and become a player. “I don’t see this as the end of my relationship with Major League Soccer as my ambition is to be part of the ownership structure in the future,” said Beckham in his recent statement.
Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber has been saying for well over a year that he sees New York as the location of the 20th team in his league and to that end had been working hard to secure a site for the team to build a stadium. While the Red Bulls are in New Jersey, Garber had been scoping out the 5 boroughs and had announced this fall that he has finally found a location in Queens at Flushing Medows that is said to be a hotbed of soccer in New York. However, not everyone believes that New York should be the site of the next MLS team, including Jérôme de Bontin, the new sporting director of the Red Bulls.
The Cosmos’ new ownership group could very well be setting themselves up to be a forerunner for the 20th MLS franchise as they would transition from the NASL into MLS just as four other teams had done previously, moving from Division 2 up to MLS. If that is the case, Beckham could be a partial owner and help the Cosmos find favor with Garber and company.
There is no doubt that Beckham has always been enamored with New York, even naming his eldest son, Brooklyn. As well, Beckham’s wife Victoria runs her line of clothing from the Big Apple and in recent days she was said to be looking at homes back in London, which would be a much closer flight to New York than Los Angeles.
A NASL Spokesperson declined to comment on the report.