A week after the New York Cosmos launched the Cosmos Copa at the the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland, the United Soccer League announced that the New York Cosmos U23 team will compete in the USL Premier Development League (PDL) exhibition schedule in 2011.
Led by current Cosmos Academy East Director Giovanni Savarese, the U23 team formally become competitors in the 2012 season. By competing in an exhibition schedule, the New York Cosmos U23 is ineligible for this year's playoffs or the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. However, the Cosmos U23 team will have the opportunity to compete against teams already competing in the PDL.
“We are excited to have one of the top names in world soccer joining the Premier Development League,” USL CEO Alec Papadakis said. “New York Cosmos U23 is led by experienced and ambitious management who know how to run a first-class operation, and their participation will only strengthen the thriving PDL presence in the greater New York area. This relationship is a natural progression based on their strong relationship with Umbro, USL’s most important and longest standing partner.”
Once eligible for the 2012 season, the New York Cosmos U23 team be included with other the New York-area teams of the Brooklyn Knights, Long Island Rough Riders, and the Westchester Flames.
“We are excited to be a part of the USL family and are putting forth the dedication and resources necessary at every level within our organization to rebuild The New York Cosmos in the right away,” said Paul Kemsley, Chairman, The New York Cosmos. “Our New York Cosmos U23 team is a natural extension to our Cosmos Academy and further reinforces our commitment to developing young, talented players. Our academy players will have a chance to play amongst some experienced and competitive PDL teams and we look forward to a full season in 2012 and beyond.”
New York Cosmos fans have every reason to smile. While many of them are salivating for the announcement of being officially recognized as the 20th team in Major League Soccer, this is a fantastic opportunity for fans to demonstrate to MLS why New York needs a metropolitan New York-based soccer club competing in MLS.
This is the perfect opportunity for Cosmos fans to bring their kind of energy and passion that many in MLS admired from the Portland Timbers fans. This is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate to the U23 how important the New York Cosmos legacy is to you. Last, but not least, this is the perfect opportunity for Cosmos fans and the Borough Boys to put their chants in action.
Now the question remains (for those living in New York)—where will you be when the New York Cosmos U23 play their first PDL exhibition match?
Two Cosmos Academies, the Cosmos Copa and now an U23 team is further evidence that their commitment to their mission statement of inspiring, developing, and fielding world-class players is a priority. When it's said and done, the New York Cosmos organization has invested a lot of money in an attempt to demonstrate to their Cosmos fans, as well as Major League Soccer, that they're intent on becoming the 20th MLS team.
Cesar Diaz covers Soccer for LatinoSports.com. He's also a Columnist for 5 Points Press & USSoccerPlayers.com; your source for American Soccer news brought to you by members of the U.S. National Team. Easily accessible, you may reach Cesar at firstname.lastname@example.org and at Twitter at @CoveringSoccer.