New York Cosmos: 8 Reasons It Would Be Great to Have Them in MLS

Christopher Hall@@chriscospinsAnalyst IApril 27, 2012

New York Cosmos: 8 Reasons It Would Be Great to Have Them in MLS

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    MLS commissioner Don Garber wants a second team in New York City. The New York Cosmos want to be that team.

    By most accounts, a deal to bring a second New York team into MLS is only a stadium deal away.

    While the Cosmos organization won't be the only group bidding for the franchise, they're the one that should get it.

    Here are 8 reasons why.

History

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    With apologies to the current teams that make up Major League Soccer, the New York Cosmos represent the history of the game in the United States.

    They won the NASL championship five times, brought in big name players and made soccer relevant in a country that had largely forgotten about the game.

    For older soccer fans in the United States, no MLS team has ever established a hold on the emotions quite like the NASL's Cosmos.

Rivalry

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    Why is there a picture of baseball players on a soccer article? Because we're talking rivalries and no one does rivalry better than the New York Yankees and the New York Mets.

    For that matter, no one does rivalry better than New York City.

    In baseball, the Mets and Yankees.

    In football, the Giants and Jets.

    Even the NBA is getting in the act with the Nets moving to Brooklyn.

    So why wouldn't it work for MLS? It already does in Los Angeles and the Pacific Northwest. And it will work in New York as well. The Red Bulls will play the lovable losers and if we're lucky, the Cosmos will enter the league with a bang.

Youth Academy

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    Since the Cosmos organization relaunched without a professional club, they've focused on building a youth set up.

    Now, the club has youth development taking place from the youngest age groups all the way up to the Cosmos Academy, which plays in U.S. Soccer's elite Development Academy program.

    The grassroots start means an MLS franchise will go on top of an already solidly constructed club structure. Rather than working from the top down like most MLS clubs have in the past, the Cosmos have gotten it right.

New York City

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    If any market in the United States can sustain a second MLS franchise, it's New York City. Better a second team there than a first team in some place like Charlotte.

    New York has more people than many entire states, more soccer-loving immigrant communities than anywhere else and just so much potential.

    The same argument goes for any ownership group that may win the bidding for a franchise, but it applies equally to the Cosmos.

Marketing

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    With no MLS team, the Cosmos have launched their club to significant acclaim across the United States.

    They've hosted tournaments, released uniforms for sale and even trotted out a group of players to face Manchester United for Paul Scholes' testimonial in last August.

    If the Cosmos management can get this kind of traction without even having a team, I'd love to see what they do once they're actually field a squad each week.

The Red Bulls Suck

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    The New York Cosmos would be fantastic for MLS because the New York Red Bulls have been a historic mess.

    NYRB was one of the founding clubs in Major League Soccer. They are also the only founding club to never win a major trophy.

    Three name changes and season after season of underwhelming results: not exactly the kind of thing New York fans can get excited about.

Leadership

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    Cobi Jones, Eric Cantona, Carlos Alberto, the late Giorgio Chinaglia and Pele are all people associated with the Cosmos return in either an ambassadorial role or as a member of the front office staff.

    In all honesty, the moves, with the possible exception of Jones, have little to do with the eventual MLS team. They're part of the marketing.

    But it shows management knows what they're doing. That can't be a bad thing.

Pelé

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    Let me tell you the single most recognizable soccer figure in the minds of most Americans. It goes equally for soccer fanatic kids in California and Florida as it goes for housewives in Kentucky who only know soccer as that game where you can't use your hands.

    Pelé.

    The Brazilian has been the soccer player to Americans for decades. You can trot out your David Beckhams, Thierry Henrys and all the rest of MLS's designated players, but there is no name that cuts through the American soccer fog of ignorance and apathy like Pelé.

    The Cosmos can bring Pelé to MLS. There really isn't a better reason to give them the next franchise.

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