08 August 2011

Reflection of the Paul Scholes Testimonial Day

(Picture Source - New York Cosmos)

New York, NY - Since the start of the revival of the New York Cosmos, there was talk of the Cosmos playing “inspirational” games which would consist of random soccer stars along side of talent from their academy. With that said, it shouldn’t come as a shock when more of these fixtures are played.

If you watched the New York Cosmos vs. Manchester United, then you watched and I quote an “inspirational” team which was outclassed by one of the world’s top teams. However, if you are Cosmos fans and/or possibly the original New York MLS team, you were most likely smiling afterwards.

If you’re going to try and analyze Friday’s performances of both clubs over a testimonial match, then you’re basically wasting your time. The reality is that the result isn’t as significant. Traditionally, a testimonial match pays homage to the player who has spent 10 years with a club.

And on Friday, Paul Scholes was the honoree who was being praised. Not only was he being recognized for his contributions at Manchester United, he went out in style as he blasted a beautiful goal to open up the scoring to give his beloved Red Devils a 1-0 lead.

The Cosmos fans who congregated in abundance (100+) to Legends on Friday afternoon did not let the 6-0 score keep them down. They did not let Marvin Iraheta’s foul in the box get them angry.  

No, the Cosmos fans were in high spirits following the match. For most of the fans in attendance at Legends and most likely for fans who watched at home, there was one moment that sent a chill down their spines.

Seeing the Cosmos emerge from the tunnel as they walked to the pitch at Old Trafford generated a thunderous roar in Legends. A roar that translated to “Holy shit this is real”.  

With that monumental moment fans now excited and singing throughout the match and after the match; they were so hungry for more that the most popular question was “How do I get more involved with the fan movement?”

It’s a tough spot for Cosmos fans right now. Friday’s testimonial wasn’t a horrible match for the club. There isn’t going to be another contest for the Cosmos next week. Fans who are behind the Cosmos have no other choice other to go home and simply wait.

Wait for the news…  let me rephrase that, if there will be a day, where a 6-0 loss would sit in our stomachs all week until the next kick off. So, while this and I loosely stress the word “match” most likely brought in some great revenue and publicity, it also did something else.

For the citizens of Cosmos Country, it increased their desire for a top flight soccer club in New York City. Way into Friday night, many remained and visualized what it would be like if the Cosmos were able to secure a stadium deal in New York City and get join Major League Soccer.

Along with the clinking and chugging of beer, we literally buzzed ourselves into a psychedelic visualization of game day atmosphere, road trips, tifo and the amazing Hudson River Derby we would have against Red Bull New York or the New York Red Bulls, or the Emirates Cup winners.

One has to imagine if this game meant so much more to the front office who are working hard on making a MLS team happen. While this had to be a great moment for Paul Kemsley and Terry Byrne, it might have also made their job a bit tougher, because it made the fans hungrier.