“The New York Cosmos can confirm full participation in the 2017 North American Soccer League season,” said Chief Operating Officer Erik Stover. “The affirmation of Division II status for the NASL allows us to move forward with confidence. We have a lot of work to do in a short amount of time including signing players and rebuilding our roster. That work begins in earnest now. We will have more information about the club and our year ahead in the coming days.”
Throughout the last several weeks, the statuses of the Cosmos and the NASL have been in question. Keeping the Division II status was reportedly a condition for Rocco Commisso – the founder, chairman, and CEO of Mediacom Communications – to invest in the team as a majority owner. He would take control from Sela Sport and Cosmos chairman Seamus O’Brien. Commisso played soccer at Columbia University and was invited to try out for the 1972 U.S. Olympic soccer team.
One issue is where the Cosmos will play, as the team will not be returning to Hofstra University for the 2017 season. Talk has centered on the team playing at MCU Park, home of the minor-league Brooklyn Cyclones baseball team. While there are always some issues in playing out of a ballpark, there are some advantages here: the Cyclones season does not begin until late June, giving the Cosmos a prime advantage for scheduling early in the season. (Plus: Brooklyn.) And, of course, there’s another huge issue: building a full roster for the season after many players were released during the period of uncertainty following the 2016 season.
Image of Cosmos Midfielder Danny Szetela courtesy New York Cosmos.