On October 1, 1977, Pelé played his final game with the New York Cosmos at Giants Stadium. Over 77,000 fans packed the stadium to witness Pelé score his final goal in a 2-1 victory against his former club, Santos FC. For many fans, it was a sad day in their lives and the clouds over Giants Stadium resonated the message as they too cried.
Thirty-three years later, the Cosmos are back in our lives. Since Pelé's announcement of the relaunching of the New York Cosmos during the halftime of the Copa NYC championship game, the organization has taken serious steps in assuring their longtime fans that they're serious.
After acquiring the Copa NYC tournament, the New York Cosmos demonstrated their commitment toward grassroots and youth soccer development by establishing two Cosmos Academies. Located in New York and California, both academies are participating in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
As a result, three of their players were selected for the U.S. Soccer U17 National Team Residency Program.
As Pelé approaches his 70th birthday on October 23, 2010, he said, "I am happy to be involved with the New York Cosmos again. I have the opportunity to come back and work to revive the Cosmos and promote football in the United States. Now, I want to see my dreams come true of kids learning football in the right way."
Today, October 1, 2010, will be another day that Cosmos fans will never forget. Unlike the October 1, 1977 where soccer fans were saddened by the retirement of Pelé, 2010 Cosmos fans of that era have every reason to celebrate and be proud that they've endured thirty-three years reminiscing about their beloved New York Cosmos.
Fans will now have the opportunity to wear a New York Cosmos jersey as Umbro signed a worldwide kit deal with the organization. Inspired by the tradition and legacy of the Cosmos, the jersey will be a while home shirt, with the unique green and yellow color. The jersey will be available for sale come December 2010.
Chief Marketing Officer for Umbro International commented, "Umbro was a partner of the New York Cosmos during the 1970s when they were unquestionably the world's coolest club. It's a great opportunity to once again be involved with the club and we are committed to working with them to develop world-class soccer players worthy to wear the legendary New York Cosmos crest."
The first of October will always be significant to Cosmos fans everywhere. Along with Pelé's final game in 1977 and the returning of the Cosmos jersey in 2010, fans will have the opportunity to read his exclusive interview in the November issue of FourFourTwo magazine.
If you're in the UK, you will be able to read the interview on Monday, October 4, 2010 when the magazine goes on sale. For the rest of Cosmos fans living in the United States, they'll have to wait until mid-November.
Regardless of when the magazine is on sale in the United States, Cosmos fans are ecstatic that the greatest American Soccer club (bar none) has returned to their lives. No matter how successful a Major League franchise is, they will have to always have to live in the shadow of the New York Cosmos.
Cesar Diaz covers Soccer for Latino Sports. Please send him your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org