Not happy with Don Garber, NYCFC, and the NY Cosmos

May 21, 2013 at 9:51 pm | Posted in General Football | 2 Comments

At first blush the announcement today that NYCFC has been granted the 20th Major League Soccer franchise looks like good news.  Frankly, I am not that happy about it.

The owners of Manchester City FC and the New York Yankees have combined as the ownership group for NYCFC, with the Man City owners putting up the big money and the Yankees providing local sports industry expertise.   While I am happy to see more big investors coming into MLS, I am not happy to see them running a little cousin which is a side show to their larger concerns.  Just take a look at MLSE and Toronto Football Club; the priority is clearly the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The other sad fact is that Don Garber and the New York Cosmos have failed to put the Cosmos brand back where it belongs at the top level of the game in the US and Canada. It is torture to see the New York Cosmos brand languishing in the newly anointed NASL, at tier two of the game. 

Back in the days of the North American Soccer League, (part one), the New York Cosmos were a serious club which would frequently trounce top global football opposition in friendly matches. Pele, Cryuff, Beckanbauer, Neeskins, Chinaglia, Alberto and other great players donned the famous green jersey with one of the best logos ever put on a sports jersey. Crowds at Giant’s stadium where they played were typically in the 50-70,000 range.  

My feeling is that the Cosmos brand would boost the moribund attendance figures  in the Eastern conference of the MLS, which lag behind the Pacific Northwest by a large margin. 

Today the New York Cosmos brand is possibly the most under utilized and under fulfilled brands in all of world sport.  By not coming to agreement, MLS and the Cosmos have done a disservice to us all.  The owners of the Cosmos brand are not the brightest bulbs under the light shade, and will never realize the potential of their brand while playing at the second tier of football.  Their only conceivable plan is to build their brand on their own so that they can increase its value and influence to such a degree that MLS can’t say no to them.  But how will they do this playing at the lower level of soccer?

As for NYCFC, how will they build loyalty to a new brand in a market in which the NY Red Bulls embarrass the league with their attendance figures in spite of having a fabulous new stadium and Thierry Henri?

I hope there is a back story to all of this and that NYCFC hopes to purchase the Cosmos brand with their enormous financial might.  In my view that is the only scenario that makes sense.   Certainly that is the case for fans like me, who desperately want to see the Cosmos brand thriving again, in the Eastern Conference of the MLS.   

Lets hope there is a plan in Don Garber’s head to get back to the altar for the marriage we all want to see. 

 

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2 Comments »

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  1. Hopefully NYCFC will stand fore New York Cosmos FC or redbull buys cosmos brand and re name RBNY the RBNY Cosmos
    Lets hope the Cosmos come back to where they belong , the MLS !!!

  2. There is absolutely no chance the NY Cosmos get bought out by the owners of NYCFC. The NY Cosmos have their own wealthy middle eastern financial backers. Their goal was to be awarded the 20th MLS slot, but since that is out of the questions, they are going to go at it within the NASL and marketing with their brand history. I think the Cosmos are going to be a quality side, considering the quality signings they have made. There are also talks of building a soccer specific stadium and the designs look amazing. I don’t think their goal is to remain in NASL, so one may think the stadium talk/design was just a bluff to get MLS to negotiate or they are going to take a gamble and hope their success will lead the MLS to possibly add a 3rd NY team. As crazy as that may sound, they may have a more interesting rivalry with NYCFC than NYCFC would have with the Red Bulls, who have been mediocre for years now and also be located inside of NY!
    Also, the NASL may only be two years old, but they will be expanding to 12 teams in 2014. The popularity of soccer is always on the rise and the success of MLS will contribute to the rise of NASL. The NASL is going to the easiest route for cities that can’t break into the MLS or want to start early, before a jump into the MLS (Montreal Impact for example). It’ll be interesting to see if the quality of the NASL will increase as it matures and we can keep track of this by their performance in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, which has been dominated by MLS teams since the inception of MLS. I foresee NASL teams doing better once the league establishes itself and the competition increases and improves. Things are good for U.S. soccer I believe.


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