When I was child I only knew the name of one soccer team. The New York Cosmos. When I learned about them, they didn’t even exist anymore (I was born in 1978). I remember hearing about how amazing they were, how many people came to watch them, how the greatest player in history, Pelé, had played for them. The team excited me to think what soccer could be in the United States and they saddened me since there was no soccer league in the states. You can watch a free documentary about the original Cosmos on YouTube.
In 2010 someone finally bought the rights to the name and rebooted the New York Cosmos. They hired Pelé to be a spokes person, they also hired two of my three favorite soccer players ever. Eric Cantona (left) and Cobi Jones (right). The third is Clint Mathis, if Berkley had been born a boy she would be Berkley Mathis Hough (what were we thinking?).
Eric Cantona was a legendary Frenchman who played for Manchester United. His biography is one of the best I’ve read. He is a brilliant man who did some truly stupid things. How the Cosmos got him to be their Director of Soccer I do not know, but I love that he is part of the team.
Cobi Jones played college soccer at UCLA, when I was a child my brothers and I met him at some sort of olympics game. He stayed after the game and talked with us. Between his kindness and sweet dreadlocks I was a fan from that day forward. He has no historical ties to the Cosmos, but the fact that he’s involved is fantastic. Now if only they would sign up Clint Mathis.
This past August the NEW New York Cosmos played their first game in the NASL (North American Soccer League). It’s a second division league and they are dominating so far, the goal is to get into the MLS (first division league) eventually. Personally I kinda like them out of the MLS because they can control their players and who makes their uniforms and all sorts of other things that right now MLS dictates for their teams.
As I have watched a few games I’ve been impressed with the quality of soccer, it’s fast and skillful, it’s really fun to watch. Best of all you can watch them for free by going to NASL.com or OneWorldSports.com depending on away or home game.
The NASL is just a fun league that I hope to see grow as they add teams each year. Currently there are eight teams Tampa Bay Rowdies, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, San Antonio Scorpions, Atlanta Silverbacks, FC Edmonton, Carolina Railhawks and the Minnesota United. Next season they will add the Ottawa Fury, Virginia Cavalry and Indy Eleven. After that Jacksonville and Oklahoma City will both be getting teams.
If you like soccer keep an eye on the New York Cosmos who are currently an underdog, but have been called the Once and Future Kings of American Soccer. Below are a few more photos that represent this great team.
Here Pelé is carried off the field after a victory, I believe it is Giants Stadium.
This is Eric Cantona looking grumpy.
Cobi Jones after joining the Cosmos team.
Pelé being Pelé
Here is a shot of the current team scoring on the Tampa Bay Rowdies.