Nearly 30 years after the New York Cosmos and the North American Soccer League disbanded, both the team and the historic league will reunite and bring soccer back to New York City. It was announced Thursday that the Cosmos will participate in the re-branded North American Soccer League, which is now the second division of American Soccer. The league lies just below Major League Soccer and is currently comprised of eight teams across North America. New York will join in 2013 along with the expansion Ottawa franchise.
The Cosmos will play an official game for the first time since 1984, led by sporting director Eric Cantona. While the the home venue has not been made official, it is believed that the team will play at James M. Shuart Stadium on the campus of Hofstra University. The 15,000-seat stadium is a familiar home to the Cosmos who played their during the 1972 and 1973 seasons.
The news of New York joining NASL for the 2013 season brings up a very interesting question: what does this mean for New York’s chances of landing an MLS franchise in the future? MLS commissioner Don Garber hinted that the Big Apple will still be in consideration as an expansion team despite the Cosmos participating in the second division. Garber has insisted that having two New York/Metropolitan MLS franchises would be of great interest to the league, and plans are in place to build a soccer stadium in Corona Park in Flushing, NY. Whether or not the Cosmos will be the team playing in the stadium is uncertain.
The 2013 NASL season will surely draw a lot of interest as the league has no salary cap. No salary cap + the New York Cosmos = $$$$. Who knows, maybe we might see the star-studded Cosmos from the days of Pele.