After weeks of rumors, the release of players and staff, and questions on the future of the club, the Cosmos have confirmed new ownership. Chairman and CEO of Mediacom Communications Corporation Rocco B. Commisso has now taken over as Chairman and majority owner of the club.
Commisso has long had his roots in New York and soccer in the city after originally immigrating from Calabria, Italy at the age of 12. He attended Columbia University, playing for the Lions from 1967-70. ALong the way, he was a member of an undefeated freshman team and co-captained the school’s team to their first NCAA Playoffs appearance in 1970. He was also invited to try out for the 1972 US Soccer team.
Commisso has remained an active contributor to the university’s soccer program for over 40 years, co-founding Friends of Columbia Soccer and chairing it for eight years. In 2013, Columbia re-named Baker Athletics Complex as the Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium. In 2015, the NYC Soccer Gala honored him for his lifetime dedication to the game. Last year, he entered the University’s Athletics Hall of Fame.
“Like so many of our fantastic fans, I have followed the Cosmos since the fabulous days of Pelé, Chinaglia, Alberto, and Beckenbauer,” said Commisso in a statement released Tuesday morning. “With my deep roots in the New York City area as a former player, youth coach, and proud supporter of the Columbia University soccer program, I look forward to building on the rich history of America’s most iconic soccer club.”
Outgoing Chairman Seamus O’Brien also voiced his support of Commisso taking over.
“We’ve worked hard to secure a positive future for the club and Rocco is the perfect person to lead the continued renaissance,” said O’Brien. “He is not only extremely knowledgeable about the beautiful game as it is played worldwide, but brings extensive entrepreneurial experience in the media and communications business to the organization.”
Cosmos fans can continue to look forward to a well-coached team as Giovanni Savarese will remain a crucial part of the project.
“Cosmos fans deserve a world class experience,” said Savarese. “I am thrilled Rocco is giving me the opportunity to continue as head coach to pursue our fourth championship in five years.”
The team is scheduled to have a media call today to begin explaining the new direction of the club.