Cosmos Comeback – The New York Cosmos And Erik Stover Have Their Hands Full

When ever The New York Cosmos showed up on the door step of soccer they turned heads. People were watching. That was certainly true the first time around, in the 70’s and 80’s, and it is still true now. For many, the Cosmos are the birth giver for American soccer and a look at American soccer history clearly confirms that view. While there has been soccer before the Cosmos, the club created a major buzz in the 70’s when a number of super stars in Cosmos colors roamed the fields in the United States and stunned the masses. Pele, Beckenbauer, the late Giorgio Chinaglia and many others that played for the club are unforgotten heroes for New York City soccer fans and the entire soccer world.

Read Also: Remember the Cosmos, From July 2011

Today, things for the history rich soccer club are different. After disappearing in the mid 80’s, the club and brand rested in a drawer. Other new soccer clubs tried to step in and help the sport thrive in the United States. A couple of years back, an English business man bought the rights and attempted to bring the Cosmos back into professional soccer and the MLS. While the soccer part of the attempt more or less failed, it created considerable buzz and indeed brought the brand back to life. The Englishman sold the club to new ownership and since then new signs of life can be registered. This time, the signs show the necessary seriousness and means.

Read Also: From The Irish Examiner 07/2011 – How Cosmos Could Conquer The World

On November 8th, Erik Stover was introduced as the club’s new COO. Erik Stover is a long time professional in the industries of sports and soccer and has shown his abilities before with the other New York soccer club, Red Bull New York. Listening to Stover’s words and looking at the activities around the club, there is no doubt that this time the Cosmos will re-emerge and take an important part in American soccer. This might not be a process of a year or two, but the  club now has the means to create a major U.S. soccer and business force.

The New York Cosmos are not only a soccer club. Also unforgotten are the pictures of the 70’s and 80’s super stars of all ways of life associating themselves with the Cosmos. The club stands for entertainment, multi cultural life, business, global flair and doing things the New York City and American way. Without denying the accomplishments of other sports franchises, there is just no other that can match its characteristics and opportunity better to New York City and America. A fact that was true 30 years ago, and still is.

The New York Cosmos, Stover and his staff will have their hands full in dealing with the expectations, opportunity and the responsibilities this club has. There is much more behind this  than just revitalizing a soccer club. Good luck, the soccer world is watching, again.

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8 Responses

  1. Such an interesting cast of characters the Cosmos have presented. What will it take for Soccer to take off in the US?

  2. Anonymous says:

    It should be wonderful to have a least one high category futbol club in USA, a country of that level need to be match with the best sport of the world. Very good idea and good luck.

  3. Prairie Bhoy says:

    This isn’t the mid 70’s anymore and Pele, Georgio and Franz are not around to show up at studio 54 and stick blow up their nose. There were no rules back then and the league and network (ABC) promoted the Cosmos to high heavens. Good team? Sure but there were other good teams in the NASL. Cosmos eventually collapsed under their own weight and were just fading away with the rest of the league by the mid 80’s.

    Besides we already have our own version of the Cosmos and they are called the Galaxy. The rules in the MLS are different with designated player rules. The other teams are not going to sit back and let the league hand the Cosmos major advantages. Anybody think the RedBulls are going to surrender fans to the Cosmos without a fight?

    Finally, you don’t have a full merchandise range two years before a team entry into MLS is every seriously considered by the league. I have purchased Jerseys. warm-ups, Jackets, hats, bags, etc…. from the tailored by Umbro range for a song, all from discount houses. Nice stuff but just shows the over reach by the guys who brought the Cosmos back. They will get in the MLS but will have to earn their place in the league this time

  4. mclatm says:

    This isn’t the mid 70’s and Pele, Franz and Georgio can’t go to Studio 54 to snort blow. ABC TV isn’t around to shove the Cosmos down everyone’s throat.

    Any new Cosmos team has to follow all the MLS rules that any other team follows. They will get the same designated player spots and budget as the others. They will have ti build. The other teams (especially Red Bull) will concede nothing to them.

    The Umbro merchandise range is top quality for them. I should know, I have those jerseys, jackets, hats, bags, etc….I have picked up many for a song at a local discount retailer. Who has a complete kit and warm-up selection well ahead of any team? You can kiss those good-bye anyway as Cosmos have to abide by the same Adidas kit deal as the rest of the league.

    The New York way is not the American way. The middle section of the country is bigger now and has its own teams and traditions after 15 years or so in the MLS.

    Don’t confuse these Cosmos with one that has been gone for over 25 years

    • V. says:

      Hello Tom,

      Thank you for your two comments (I think the one below from Prairie Bhoy is you as well, going from the avatar). I appreciate the insights.

      There is no doubt that the Cosmos will have to follow the same rules as the other teams when they join the MLS. For now they are not an MLS team, but play in the NASL. So, let’s see how that goes soccer wise and when the MLS comes up as a topic we will see what the deal is.

      Who knows, the MLS might make some changes, not because of the Cosmos, but because of being competitive on an international level. Competitiveness counts for the club teams as well as the National Team. That’s just a side note and has nothing to do with the current facts you mentioned.

      It is also true that as an MLS team, the Cosmos will have to wear the Adidas kits, like everyone else. And, nobody will concede anything to them. As you said, they will have to build and grow.

      This is all stuff I agree with you. However, with that out of the way, there are quite a few differences between the Cosmos and all the other MLS clubs. The Cosmos are a real New York City club, not a New Jersey club. If you know about the fan situation here in the city, you will understand what I mean. NYC and Long Island have a population more than many countries, soccer countries. In my opinion, you could actually get a third club going in this area, without anyone losing anything. The opposite is the case, they would all win.

      When I talk about soccer with my ex-soccer teammates in Europe, there is no real seriousness about the MLS or its teams. And them knowing any teams in the MLS, hardly a hand full. Red Bull, Galaxy, Philly and then it is already over. They might come up with a city name, but can hardly tell you a complete team name. Talking about NYC and soccer, everyone knows The New York Cosmos, no exception in soccer circles. They can even tell you stories about that time. That might not be of importance to you and many other people, but this is important because soccer is a sport with global recognition. International reputation and marketing value is a real measure. To express that in business numbers, if you would go into a competition between all the MLS clubs, including the Cosmos and sell club shirts globally, who do you think would sell the most shirts? Doesn’t have anything to do with soccer? Wrong! Has a lot to do with soccer. That business power makes money, which in turn can turn into success on the soccer field. The Cosmos have much more opportunity to do business on a much broader level than anyone else in the MLS. The chest of that shirt, whether it is UMBRO or adidas, will have more value than any other shirt in Amerian soccer. They have a brand with global recognition that is still alive, even after almost 30 years.

      Does that go down well with those that don’t like the Cosmos? No, it doesn’t. And it is good like that. That creates rivalries and enemies. That in turn creates much more interest. If you want, Cosmos against the rest. It is all good for the clubs and American soccer in general. It is something you’ll find all over the world in soccer leagues. And it is going well. I don’t think I need to mention examples.

      The Cosmos will do well, I have no doubt about it. How well depends on the vision the new ownership has. If they are happy to have an average MLS franchise one day, so be it. They will be doing well being average. I have the feeling, however, the new ownership has more in mind. If so, they will do well with not being modest.

  1. November 18, 2012

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