New York Cosmos Tryouts & Club Guide: History, Stadium, Players, and More!
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New York Cosmos is a professional soccer team based in Uniondale, New York. The club competes in the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA), the third division of American soccer.
New York Cosmos Youth Development System
New York Cosmos Recruitment Trials
At the time of this writing, there is no official academy/trial information for New York Cosmos. Please come back at a later date while we monitor this club or click here to visit their official news section for more information.
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New York Cosmos History
1971 marked the year that the first season of play for the original New York Cosmos team took place in the first iteration of the North American Soccer League. Following the conclusion of the 1984 campaign, the league halted all operations, and the New York Cosmos disbanded the following year, having previously competed in the Major Indoor Soccer League.
Peppe Pinton, who was serving as the managing director of the New York Cosmos at the time, carried on with the youth camps that had been established in 1977 and were given the names of the club’s heroes. Major League Soccer (MLS), which had rapid expansion throughout the late 1990s and 2000s, expressed an interest in establishing a second club in the New York market at one point.
In 2007, a group of individuals came together to advocate for the establishment of a franchise in the city of New York itself. In 2010, during his talk titled “State of the League,” Commissioner Don Garber confirmed that this objective was in fact being pursued. Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos, a documentary that focused on the original New York Cosmos and shown on ESPN, was responsible for exposing the team’s name to a new generation of baseball enthusiasts.
Additionally, at one point in time, Garber claimed that if Major League Soccer were to have a second New York club, it would be the Cosmos, and other organizations in the New York City area approached Pinton about utilizing the name. Even the already established Major League Soccer club in New York, the MetroStars, who became the New York Red Bulls in 2006, made pertinent queries before and after the name change. Pinton was initially hesitant to provide permission for an MLS team to use the name because he believed the league would not respect the Cosmos’ history.
However, after observing how the MLS reintroduced previous NASL names, he changed his mind and gave permission for the name to be used. At the end of August 2009, Pinton sold the name and image rights to Paul Kemsley for the sum of $2 million. Kemsley was the former vice-chairman of Tottenham Hotspur, a club that played in the English Premier League.
Kemsley led a group that was interested in establishing a new Cosmos team in the MLS. On August 1, 2010, they made the announcement that the club would be reopening. Terry Byrne, an English soccer businessman, served as the vice-chairman of Kemsley’s company. Rick Parry, a former CEO of Liverpool, was also a member of this group. Although the whole ownership group was not officially declared at the time, there was widespread speculation that Saudi Arabian investors were behind the venture’s financial backing.
Cobi Jones, a former player for the United States national team, was appointed as the associate director of soccer for the organization. This was followed by Eric Cantona, who was hired in the middle of January 2011 to serve as the director of soccer for the organization. Cantona stated that he had “big plans” to build the club around talent from within the country, but the club would later claim in court that Cantona had never been given any actual responsibilities with the club and that he had only been a promotional figurehead. Cantona claimed that he had “big plans” to build the club around talent from within the country. Jones resigned from his position with the club in 2012, and Cantona was terminated from his position not long afterward.
The new squad attempted to establish contact with its previous superstars. Shep Messing, Carlos Alberto, and Giorgio Chinaglia, who were all initial members of the Cosmos, have been given the title of “international ambassadors” by the club. Pelé has been given a promotional contract worth five years and five million dollars to serve as the honorary president of the team. At Old Trafford, the new Cosmos played their inaugural game on August 5, 2011, which was Paul Scholes’ testimonial match versus Manchester United, which was Eric Cantona’s previous club.
The match was played in Cantona’s honor. Cantona managed the Cosmos, a team that featured guest players from all over the world on its roster. Cantona was born in France. Kemsley sold his shares to the co-owners on October 26, 2011, and it was later discovered that the co-owners were Sela Sport, a Saudi Arabian sports marketing corporation.
The departure of Kemsley was announced by the Cosmos with an official club statement saying that he wished “to pursue other interests and commitments.” However, the New York Post reported that Sela “apparently tired of the flamboyant Brit, who was long on flash but has to this point been short of substance.” Kemsley’s departure was announced by the Cosmos with an official club statement. It was not immediately announced who would take his place.
A subsequent press statement was issued on November 2 with information regarding the purchase of the company, the restructuring of the organization, and numerous managerial changes within the organization. According to the statement, the objective of the club “absolutely” remains to compete in Major League Soccer after the implementation of the new organizational structure.
Within a few short weeks of being named chairman and CEO, Seamus O’Brien met multiple times with Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber to discuss the possibility of the club joining Major League Soccer. O’Brien refused to join the league because of the $100 million expansion fee, the single-entity structure, and the stipulation that the league manage the brand.
Garber was nevertheless enthusiastic about adding the Cosmos to the MLS and offered O’Brien a position in the league. O’Brien has made the decision to withdraw his MLS admission application. On July 12, 2012, the New York Cosmos made an announcement that they would begin competitive play in the North American Soccer League in 2013. However, in the same press statement, the team emphasized that it was still intent on eventually entering the Major League Soccer (MLS).
The position of Chief Operating Officer of the club was filled by Erik Stover in the month of November. Stover had previously served as the managing director of the New York Red Bulls, a position in which he had been honored with the MLS Executive of the Year award and was regarded as having played an important role in the construction of the team’s stadium.
The next week after that, it was announced that Giovanni Savarese will serve as the team’s first head coach. Carlos Mendes, a former defender for the New York Red Bulls and a native of Long Island, joined the new New York Cosmos on December 11 as the team’s first senior player. The success of the Cosmos in the NASL was almost instantaneous, as evidenced by their triumph in the Fall Season Championship with a record of 9–4–1 (Win-Draw-Loss).
The club defeated the Atlanta Silverbacks, the winners of the previous spring season, by a score of 1-0 on November 9, 2013, to emerge victorious in the 2013 edition of the Soccer Bowl. The New York Cosmos became the first American professional club to play in Cuba after the United States began restoring relations with the island nation in June of 2015.
The match, which was played as a friendly, was between the Cuban national team and the New York Cosmos. In spite of the success they had on the field, the Cosmos had a hard time drawing fans at Hofstra. Cantona filed a lawsuit against the club in 2015, saying that they had breached their agreement by failing to pay him the nearly one million dollars in salary and the four percent equity interest that they had promised him.
In March of 2017, the parties reached a settlement. The specifics of a prospective settlement were not published right away; however, it was later claimed that Cantona had earned 780,000 pounds from the Cosmos as part of the agreement. Following the Cosmos’ victory in the NASL Championship Final in 2016, fans made a public request for a meeting with the club’s owners. They cited a lack of openness from the club’s administration as well as concerns regarding the club’s potential future.
In November 2016, there were rumors that the organization was in a precarious financial situation, which may have resulted in unpaid leave for 60–80 percent of the personnel due to an inability to meet payroll obligations. According to further estimates, the Cosmos have incurred losses totaling over thirty million dollars since they first took the field in 2013, including as much as ten million dollars in 2016.
On December 6, 2016, a number of different news organizations started claiming that the Cosmos had terminated the contracts of all of the players and coaching staff. Supporters of Cosmos have begun an online campaign to donate money for those employees who were adversely affected. On December 9, the majority of the club’s personnel were terminated from their positions formally. O’Brien accepted the financial losses in an interview with the Guardian, but he disputed that the club was in danger of going out of business and insisted that they had “zero debt.”
Empire of Soccer brought to attention the fact that when O’Brien was making those statements, the Cosmos were being sued for over $50,000 in unpaid rent on their offices located in Garden City, Long Island. Empire of Soccer highlighted out this fact. In spite of O’Brien’s public pronouncements, the team came within a few hours of completely ceasing operations as a result of O’Brien’s agreement to sell the Cosmos brand to a private equity firm. This occurred shortly after O’Brien made his statements.
On December 15, 2016, the day that O’Brien was to consummate that transaction, he initiated negotiations with Rocco B. Commisso, a cable television businessman who has had a lifelong interest in soccer. Rocco B. Commisso has a lifelong passion in soccer. It was announced on January 10, 2017, that Commisso had purchased the majority shareholding in the Cosmos. Because of his funding, both the team and the league were able to survive and compete in the North American Soccer League for the 2017 season.
ESPN reported that O’Brien and Sela Sport maintained a minority share in the team, despite the fact that supporters asserted that Commisso had informed them that Sela Sport was no longer a part of the ownership of the club. Savarese’s departure from the club was announced on December 13, 2017, by the Cosmos, who stated that he was leaving “to seek other coaching possibilities.” After the North American Soccer League decided to not play its 2018 season, the league made the announcement that the New York Cosmos will go on pause while the club considers its options for playing again in 2019.
Chief Operating Officer Erik Stover resigned in September of 2018 so that he could take over as Chief Executive Officer of a nearby soccer academy. Some of the Cosmos players participated in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) with the organization’s second team, the New York Cosmos B, during the 2018 season, and they will continue to do so throughout the 2019 season. The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) made the announcement that the New York Cosmos would become a founding member of a new professional league on November 15, 2018.
The new league will begin with the NPSL Founders Cup tournament, which will take place from August to November 2019, and will be followed by a full league schedule in 2020 at either the division 2 or 3 level. This, however, did not come to fruition, and the Founders Cup was rebranded as the Members Cup some time later, a competition in which Cosmos B took part. At Rocco B.
Commisso Soccer Stadium on Thursday, May 23, 2019, the squad played its first game since 2017; they won 2–1 against FC St. Pauli, who play in the second division of the German soccer league. On November 20, 2019, the club made public its intention to join the National Independent Soccer Association beginning with the Fall 2020 season of play for that organization.
New York Cosmos Stadium
The New York Times reported in July 2012 that the club would initially play home games at James M. Shuart Stadium, which is located on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. This location is approximately 20 miles (32 kilometers) east of downtown New York City on Long Island. When the Cosmos’ entry into the second-tier North American Soccer League was confirmed in July 2012, the club’s first season would begin in 2013. The original Cosmos club played its home games in this stadium during the 1972 and 1973 seasons. It has a capacity of 11,929 seats.
It was difficult for the Cosmos to attract spectators to Hofstra, which raised questions about the long-term viability of the team. A match during the regular season was played against the Ottawa Fury, and a match during the post-season was played against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. In 2015, they experimented with playing matches at MCU Park, which is a minor-league baseball stadium located in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn.
A parking lot adjacent to the Belmont Park racetrack in Elmont, which is located in Nassau County just across the county line from Queens, was the suggested location for the new stadium that the Cosmos intended to build. In response to a request for proposals that had been issued by the Empire State Development Corporation, the blueprints for the project that would cost 400 million dollars were presented.
The request for proposals (RFP) was officially withdrawn by the Empire State Development Corporation on December 9, 2016, and all four proposals, including the one submitted by the Cosmos, were turned down. Because of scheduling difficulties, the Cosmos were unable to use Shuart Stadium for the Championship Final in 2016, hence they were obliged to rent a another venue for the game. In the end, they decided to hold the game at Belson Stadium, which is located on the St. John’s University campus.
Fans of both the club and the league voiced their disapproval on social media using the hashtag “BiggerThanBelson” after it was announced that the championship game of the league will be played at a facility with a capacity of only 2,200 people. The Final was held at Belson but only 2,150 tickets were sold, despite the fact that the venue was sold out. The New York Cosmos played every one of their home games at MCU Park in Brooklyn during the 2017 season.
The New York Cosmos have confirmed that they will play all of their home games in 2020 at the Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale. This comes after they sat out the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Since 2013, the team’s training facility has been located at Mitchel, which is conveniently located just a few blocks away from their historic home at Shuart Stadium.