Don Garber: Bring Back The New York Cosmos!!!November 10, 2010 at 5:13 am | Posted in General Football, Major League Soccer, Vancouver Whitecaps In MLS | 4 Comments
What is the name of the greatest football team which no longer plays football? Answer: the New York Cosmos. The New York Cosmos were the flagship of the old North American Soccer League (NASL). The NASL died in 1984, and a team which had become world famous died with it. The team which had, at various times, the likes of Pele, Beckenbauer, Neeskins, Chinaglia and Carlos Alberto playing with them, was a serious football club, not just in the NASL but in the world. I remember the incredible excitement that was generated when the Cosmos came to town in the NASL days, and when we beat them in the 1979 Semi-finals.
When you look at dead brands, surely one of the dead brands that has the most potential for rebirth and enormous growth is the NY Cosmos. The name inspired soccer fans across the continent and the world. People would love to see the team make a comeback.
There is a bit of a problem in that what made the Cosmos successful was that its owners were willing to pay sky-high wages and transfer fees to create a superclub. It was this superclub model that eventually sunk the NASL because other smaller market clubs started trying to keep up with the Cosmos by getting their own superstars to play for them. Eventually, the teams could not take the financial strain. They then had to hire no-name players, the quality went down, the fans lost interest, and the league died.
Would the Cosmos brand work in the fiscally responsible salary capped Major League Soccer? I think the brand is so strong that it would transfer well into the MLS. The team and its memory has so much affection and history that people would still go to a game to see a bit of history when the Cosmos came to town. In the old days, teams could count on getting their best attendance by far when the Cosmos came to town, and I would wager that the name still has the potential to attract more fans to the park just by name recognition alone.
The Cosmos would provide an excellent local derby for the NY Red Bulls and the Philedelphia Union.
Frankly, it is too good an idea for MLS not to promote. Every team in the league would benefit from increased attendances. It is time for this once great team to rise again. Now comes the challenge: finding some real estate in New York to put a soccer specific stadium on. If the investors can be found, and the real estate can be found, this would be a fantastic step forward for MLS.
Don Garber: bring back the New York Cosmos!!!