The late 1970s and early 1980s featured maybe what was the initial version of the term Galacticos made famous by football/soccer teams such as Real Madrid and Chelsea. Powerhouses that bring in players from all over the world to seek titles but to also elevate the game both skill-wise and with respect to entertainment and marketing.
The New York Cosmos were the first such football team in the U.S. and none has ever come close since. While the team met his demise with the demise of the U.S. pro league at the time, the North American Soccer League (NASL), the team, its players, its legend, and of course its chant, lived on.
This past weekend there was announcement of the team, or at least its name, being relaunched to support youth/grassroots soccer in the U.S. via camps, academies, and the sponsoring of teams U12-U18. The team is also committed to working with the city of New York to identify opportunities to get the city’s schoolchildren to play soccer more often.
A lot has transpired since the Cosmos’ last game. We have another couple of generations who have grown up playing the beautiful game. And those players and many more non-players, have attended and/or watched games in the U.S.’s current pro league, Major League Soccer and the top-timer leagues around the world. Is there a place for the Cosmos in this new world of soccer. There should be.
Hopefully the new version of that special team can launch a refined, comprehensive approach to the growth of football in New York and around the U.S. The memories we hold from that time deserve no less.