There is plenty of coverage of the first-generation Cosmos, but does anyone ever stop and think back about the reboot version in a historic sense? Not really!
See, growing up, i was a Cosmos fan, however, being born in 1979, I really missed my chance to watch the team week in and week out. That chance came in 2013 with the Cosmos’ first game against the Ft Lauderdale Strikers on August 3rd.
I followed the reboot since it started. Yes, that means the ups and downs of Paul Kemsley to the cleaning of house and the incorrect way the club handled the termination of its academy deals.
However, when the Cosmos announced they would join the NASL and actually play soccer games, it became real. You’re never going to agree with your club 100 percent of the times, and if you do, then you are an employee. As a fan you need to disagree with your club, but when game day comes, it all is forgotten and you are a child on Christmas morning.
That’s how I felt that day when I got out of bed. I am a sports fan and follow other teams, but normally it is a playoff game of some sort that gives me butterflies in my stomach from the moment I wake up. But, on that morning I woke up to jitters. It was the first ever league game day for the New York Cosmos.
I woke up and early on in the day I met one of the founding members of the Borough Boys Supporters Club Brandon and we hit a local bar early. He lived in LA but flew in for the game. We then were picked up by Chris who is one of the leadership of the Five Points and we went out to Hofstra 3 hours before the game started.
We helped setup the first ever Five Points section for game day and then I ran over to the store to buy the new kit. Hey, I am a capitalist and needed a jersey with an airline on it, i guess.
We hit the now defunct Social Bar for more beers and to get our song on. No wonder that bar is gone, those were some of the slowest bartenders. Honestly, a bar full of turtles could server you a pint faster.
Then the time came, time to go through the gate and have your ticket scanned for the first time. Yes, Hofstra is a rental stadium but it still gave me chills to walk through the gate to go see my club play a league game.
Obviously the place was buzzing. It was announced a sellout and I think we all know it was a littel less than that, but it was still jam packed with fans curious to see what the new Cosmos would look like. The game started, the game moved, and Peri Merosivic put in the first goal in the reboot era. The place went nuts. While it was a scrappy clean up in front of the net, no on really cared it was not a glorious set piece striker or an amazing bicycle kick. The support celebrated its first ever goal and a new history was being written before our eyes.
Little did we know that the new Cosmos were also introducing us to something new: the Cardiac Cosmos. As the Strikers tied it up and the game moved closer towards the final whistle, you wondered if this was a good result for their first NASL game. You debated in your head if you should be happy or sad, but an Italian who will and should always be remembered in Cosmos history gave us the best reboot present one could ever receive as he touched a ball out of the air into the back of the net for an injury time winner.
The reboot was under way, the fans were going nuts and the Cosmos were back. What a night!
That was an incredible day. I was not as heavily involved with the support back then, although I already knew Nick and Prez. It was the day before my birthday, so my girlfriend and I headed out, rode the LIRR, then the shuttle to the game. I had no idea what I was doing other than that I needed to be there. When that first goal went in…I don’t have the words to express that feeling and just teared up thinking about it.
Strikers almost ruined as future Cosmos Walter Restrepo tied it up. For a new club, I was fine with a draw in our first outing. Thank goodness Alessandro Noselli had a different plan. That goal was on the other side and nobody could tell at first if it went in.
“Did it go in?” “I don’t know.We ”
And then we saw the team celebrating. And then we joined them. The rest is history. Our history.
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