Return of the New York Cosmos

The New York Cosmos were the star team of 1970s soccer in the United States, doing a great deal to spur interest in the game among the young.   In 1975 Pelé signed a contract with them said to be worth $4.75m, making him the highest-paid athlete in the world at the time.  

The squad was full of international greats such as Franz Beckenbauer who had led Germany to World Cup victory in 1974.   As many as 77,000 fans came to the Giants Stadium where the Cosmos played for a time.  Attendances fell when Pelé left in 1977 and eight years later the team was disbanded.

The New York Cosmos were the star team of 1970s soccer in the United States, doing a great deal to spur interest in the game among the young.   In 1975 Pelé signed a contract with them said to be worth $4.75m, making him the highest-paid athlete in the world at the time.  

The squad was full of international greats such as Franz Beckenbauer who had led Germany to World Cup victory in 1974.   As many as 77,000 fans came to the Giants Stadium where the Cosmos played for a time.  Attendances fell when Pelé left in 1977 and eight years later the team was disbanded.

After three decades, the Cosmos are returning with their first game due in August.    They are starting to sign up players, with one coming straight from La Liga, apparently attracted by the club’s history and the city of New York.

They will have plenty of competition as a professional team already exists in New Jersey.   MLS also has plans to set up in Queens by 2016.   A new 25,000-seater stadium is planned for Long Island for the Cosmos, near the border with Queens.   The club’s chairman, Seamus O’Brien, thinks New York has room for three teams noying that there are seven or eight teams in London (actually more if you go down below Championship level).

More high schoolers now play soccer than baseball in the States.   An ESPN poll showed that Americans ranked soccer as their second favourite sport after the brand of football played with a helmet and lots of padding.   Attendance at MLS matches is higher than at National Hockey League and National Basketball Association games.

Leave a Comment