27 April 2011

CosmosCopa Kicks off in Style


By: Nick Laveglia

There are not many cities in the world diverse enough to hold its own World Cup style tournament. Fortunately for New Yorkers, we can!

Last night, at the Polish Consulate, the 2011 CosmosCopa kicked off in grand fashion. Just from last night’s event, you can see the power this tournament can truly have in our city. As we waited for guest speaker Tommy Smyth of ESPN to start off the tournament draw, you enjoyed pick food and beverages and mingled with a crowd that was as diverse as the 4 train during rush hour. The only difference was, instead of pushing and cramming for space in the car, this diversity was all brought together in celebration of one thing. Soccer! By far my favorite was the Ghana contingency that came all decked out in Ghana scarves showing that the communities involved take this seriously.

Talking with another member of our group in attendance, we realized that all these people in attendance normally would stay in their local community and celebrate the game their own way, and someone from across town would never really get to experience that. Luckily, Spencer Dormitzer and Chris Noble not only had the vision to create this tournament and put in hours of hard work to implement it.

26 April 2011

Letter To Garber


Yesterday, the Borough Boys supporters club, representing New York City's Soccer fans, hand delivered a letter to Commissioner Garber's office, expressing concern about the $100 million price tag he has put on the New York City franchise.  The new franchise fee was reported in the New York Times last Sunday, April 17.

Don Garber
Major League Soccer Commissioner
420 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10018

Dear Commissioner Garber: 

Since 2007, the Borough Boys have worked to bring an MLS team to New York City.  We have “made noise”, as you asked us to do, built a grassroots movement, and lobbied City officials and met with potential owners to show them that soccer is good business and good politics. 

So, after four years of laying this groundwork, we were hugely dismayed to find that Major League Soccer has made itself a major impediment to the MLS2NYC movement.  It was reported in the New York Times magazine on April 17 that a New York franchise could cost $100 million, two and a half times the fee of the next most expensive franchise. 

A $100 million franchise fee can mean only one of two things:  1) scaring off potential investors by making a NYC team financially impossible, or 2) forcing investors to pass YOUR fee on to the fans. 

Either way, we are very concerned about the stance of the league.  We know you’re from Queens, so presumably you know the borough.  Take a long walk, start out on Greenpoint Avenue and end at the Flushing side of Roosevelt Avenue.  You’ll find a rich soccer culture amidst hard scrabble, working poor and middle class neighborhoods.  These are the people who will fill your stadium, if you allow them.  These are the people who will create the electric environment around the stadium on game days.  These are the people who will make New York one of the great soccer destinations of the world, and increase the interest and value of your league along with it. 

Price them out and you’ll just have an MLS stadium dead zone.  You might still have a viable team, but not a special team.  When you go to any of the great soccer capitals in South America and Europe you realize that it’s not just the quality on the field, or even the singing in the stands, but the atmosphere, before and after the game, and the culture of the team that make the experience great.  Do not undermine this very special opportunity for our city and your league.  Be fair with New York and you will be rewarded with not only the greatest soccer scene in MLS, but among the best in the world. 

We thank you for your consideration and look forward to a response. 


The Borough Boys Supporters Club &
New York City Soccer Fans

21 April 2011

MLS still wants NYC - Wilpons/Cosmos


At a meeting today with the Associated Press, Mark Abbott, the president of Major League Soccer talked a bit about MLS expansion to NYC. While nothing new came out of the meeting, it is important to note that the league still in fact wants New York City.

"We would like (New York) to be the next (expansion) team, if we could," Abbott said, but identified the most substantial hindrance to another franchise in the area is a viable stadium solution."

Abbott later goes on to say:

"A potential ownership option in New York is the Wilpon family, who own the Mets, especially since Abbott cited Queens as a "favorable geographical spot" for a soccer-specific stadium. "We continue to have discussions with them about their potential involvement with (an expansion) team," Abbott said."

One curious thing is how Mr. Abbott speaks of the Wilpon family's INVOLVEMENT in an expansion team. Does that mean they will not be sole owners? Mr Abbott did of course speak of the Cosmos as another option.
While the league has always favored the Wilpon family, there still seems to be signs pointing towards a Wilpon/Cosmos partnership. Not only have the Cosmos spoken about meeting with the Wilpon family, but just this past week, in a New York Times Magazine article, Citi Field was mentioned as the potential location for a Cosmos "Inspirational Game".
As the parties involved continue to work behind the scenes, fans are patiently waiting for the answers to the questions Who? When? Where?

16 April 2011

Donnie's New York Soccer Surcharge


By: Leo Glickman

In tomorrow’s New York Times Magazine, available on line right now, there’s an excellent article about the Cosmos and MLS. Check it out if you can.

We have linked the article so we won’t recite it chapter and verse here, but a few points.

  • We must all thank Pepe Pinton for preserving the physical history of the Cosmos like the royals protect the crown jewels. I was lucky enough to see some of it in the Cosmos office, and it’s beautiful, and there are some real gems.
  • Citifield is mentioned as a possible site for the Cosmos inspirational game that’s long been planned.
  • If there was any doubt, Kemsley and the Cosmos want IN on MLS real bad.
  • Garber is committed to the present MLS model of parity.
  • Oh, and Garber expects $100 million from a New York City MLS franchise.

ONE HUNDRED MILLION??? He foresees a 150% increase over other recent franchise fees for New York City.

13 April 2011

Mission Incredible...Smashing College out of Soccer

In most other countries across the world, soccer is more than a sport but an investment by a particular club or outfit and their mindset in developing the premier talent that one can find or hope to invest in. In the English system all of the largest clubs have some of the deepest pockets built not only for superb stars to transfer in but also for some fantastic young guns to develop their trade at an early age. In Holland every local community has a deep scouting network that helps the nearest clubs and sometimes the biggest clubs locate talent that can replenish the diminshing ranks of the senior squad after one of their players transfers, retires, or bosmans. (Free Agency) But in this US we have a completely different system that has caused more grief than help; more sorrow than ecstasy and we have a innocent name for it, College Soccer.

No other place in the world outside of the American influenced Korean and Japanese school systems have as much grief from the higher education systems than America. And it is not so much to do with the amount of power or wealth colleges have, but due to the fact that for many College Soccer was the highest level an American kid could play at. Outside of the NASL years (debatable as well due to the price on foreign talent) and the more recent MLS years, College Soccer was the highest level Jonny Thunder could play at. Even nowadays the college realm is arguably the highest level for about 90% of the athletes across all sports. Rarely do people continue outside of it and if they do they are the cream of the crop; or nationally known superstars who have dominated their respective sports to the degree of amazement. But why is college a bad thing?

I mean these kids get an education and four years of freedom, what's so bad? Well the first issue is the age most college soccer players get out. If we go conservatively and say they enter at 18 they'll leave when they turn 21. 21 is a young age for most of the world but for soccer players its completely different. At 21 Pele, Maradona, and Messi were household names. At 21 Landon Donovan was shipped overseas and at 21 George Best was one of the best. For athletes age is the biggest issue and if you can play at a higher level at a younger age you have a better chance to be the best. The US' college system hinders this as most coaches care less about what you do after college and hinder in on what you can do during college. Ruud Guilit even said this about the draft picks and how they had to be re-taught the basics that college coaches out of them.

More importantly athletes at the larger schools which have more influence over the professional sports leagues are given shortcuts to easier classes, easier professors, and lack-luster grade rubrics. Some of the best examples are that a school on the map will get personal coaches or coaches who write and hand in their reports to the professors. And the answer isn't why but why do we judge college as a beacon of education when the athletes cannot be educated by themselves? Do athletes gain from college or is it just a farce? Can we judge an athletes grade with a grade of someone else? Instead of getting that straight forward answer we get more questions. Even parents will ask that question, "Well if you go to college you can get an education, what would you do if you got hurt?" The child's response nearly always is "I don't know" but it should be "we'll get to that bridge when we get to that bridge."

The final issue with college is pay. Really these athletes deserve it especially when they put the college on the map and help the school gain more money. Why is it that the labor only gets a discounted education and that's it. At most schools a discounted education does nothing for them, it only lets them get to class and have cheaper books but won't help them get a meal plan or some sort of income. At a certain state college were I was friends with a soccer kid, he was lucky enough to have parents with some means. All of his friends were either in-state students are also children of means. Imagine if you go to a school outside of this realm and the answer is many of them are. And now they are expected to dish out that type of money, you're kidding yourself if you think it should be this way. Also because they want free labor they keep all the kids from having agents and the income the school receives from tournaments cannot be given to them. So no agents trying to get kids to sign a contract with a shoe dealer and no kickback money for winning a tournament. Talk about slavery.

So what is MLS doing that is breaking down the barrier? Well first it is having every team open their own academy in the hope of building young players from the ground up. Also putting an influence on developing academy systems throughout the world and more importantly having teams set-up academies here in the states. Is this the right way forward? Right now it is but if US Soccer continues to depend on college for the talent it needs; we as well as MLS is doomed for good.

11 April 2011

"You talkin to me?"


Is NYC born Hollywood star Robert De niro getting involved with the New York Cosmos?

According to this report as well as another, YES!

While just a rumor, this would be a great addition to this movement as not only would there be international soccer stars behind it, but also a figure many New Yorkers love and can relate to. Mr. Deniro has a quote that says it all:

“I go to Paris, I go to London, I go to Rome, and I always say, 'There's no place like New York. It's the most exciting city in the world now. That's the way it is. That's it.'”

Don Garber, how can you possibly pass this group up? 

10 April 2011



During the recent New York Cosmos Q&A session held at Legends Bar NYC, I had the pleasure of meeting with Daniel Perez. He is the founder of Youth League Soccer (YLS), an online social network for soccer players, teams and parents which was developed to encourage young soccer players to follow their dreams.

According to Perez, the idea for the site came about while attending his sons’ first soccer game. After scoring his first goal, his sons’ passion took Daniel back to his youth days and how important the game was to him as a child.

08 April 2011

5 Points Press Magazine - Issue 2


The latest issue of the 5 Points Press Magazine: An online soccer Journal for NYC Soccer supporters is out.

06 April 2011

Donnies mood today: "within year"


Don Garber was in Montreal today taking a look at the progress of next years expansion team. When the question of expansion came up, Garber seemed now like NY WILL be 20.

"Garber said they hope to add a 20th club in the New York City area by 2013 or 2014, but so far have no specific expansion plans beyond that.

MLS wants a second team in North America's largest urban centre to go with the New York Red Bulls. There is talk a reviving the New York Cosmos, a prominent club from the original NASL in the 1970s and 1980s.
"Our focus is on it being in the New York metropolitan area," he said. "We have a lot of work to do to achieve that.
"Unlike the success we had here with working with the municipality on expansion of Saputo Stadium, we're at ground zero as it relates to that soccer stadium for a team in New York. But we're working on it. Hopefully within the next year we'll be able to get something finalized.""
This really is not news, but being anything CAN happen, it is still good to see the league focused on NYC for being that next expansion team.

The curious part of this story is that Garber saying they are at square zero on a stadium plan but the Cosmos saying they are working with architects and construction crews. Of course there is probably a lot going on behind the scenes that can not be public, but would be nice to see the gap closed on these two stories.

05 April 2011

Live Blog: Cosmos online Q & A

Wrapping up:
Slightly new info, but alot of the same we heard at the Q and A at Legends.
The PDL team sounds intresting, and we should hear something about that in the next
few weeks according to the Cosmos Front office.

On if the Cosmos joining the league is a risk for MLS due to the failing RedBull attendance:
"Our conversations to date with both MLS and the Red Bulls representatives are welcoming the opportunity to create a rivalry in New York. If you look at Los Angeles, there are currently two teams, in Chivas USA and the Los Angeles Galaxy, and if you look at most soccer cities around the world there are normally more than one team which creates these historical soccer rivalries. "

On the purpose of the Asia Tour:
"We were invited with Pelé and Eric to visit both Singapore and Hong Kong to discuss future grassroots partnerships and develop future relationships within the international soccer community. "

On how they got Eric Cantona:
"We drew up a shortlist of candidates that we interviewed for Eric's position and having met with Eric it was clear that he shared our passion and ambition for The Cosmos and wanted to be a part of the future. "

On if the Stadium will be close to public transportation:
"Public transportation is one of the major initiatives that we are taking into consideration when working with the city to develop a stadium site. "

On the Cosmos Academy West issues:
"Cosmos Academy West is a completely separate entity from LAFC and will continue under the coaching of Teddy Chronopoulos. "

On the difference between the Cosmos in the past, and the nature of football today:
"During the last 18 months we have started the process of our comeback by working closely from the ground up through our grassroots initiatives as well as closely with the communities. As we continue to grow, these partnerships will grow with us. "

On style of play:
"The Comos style of play is being developed at the moment by Eric Cantona, Cobi Jones, Gio Savarese and Teddy Chronopolous. We are playing the same system as Barcelona: 4-3-3 but as Eric believes firmly and continues to remind us, its the players not the system that wins games. "

wow :" Robert de Niro has invited Pelé personally to the Tribeca Film Festival which Pelé has accepted and will be present at as part of NYFEST. "

On what roles Pele and Giorgio might play:
"Pelé is our honorary president and has been involved with the club since its relaunch. Giorgio is currently an international ambassador and will be working with us in the future. We will also be announcing three coming ambassadors in the next month. "

On the possibility of having an academy that creates income by selling young players abroad:
"Our intentions are to develop home grown academy players that will be the future backbone of The Cosmos team however soccer as a business always unearths special talent that at some point will attract global attention. Should we receive that level of attention with any of our players in the future we will consider whats best for both the player and The New York Cosmos. "

On possible future community based tournments and outreach:
"Copa NYC will be relaunched as Cosmos Copa and has expanded to over 40 international communities in NYC. There will be an announcement in the coming months about our development with the New York City department of education. "

On scouting in the US:
"Currently we have relationships with clubs, managers and players globally that we will tap into moving forwards in order to benefit The Cosmos to the maximum. "

On possible big name stars to come to the Cosmos:
"The MLS currently allows for a maximum of three designated players once we are successful in achieving our ambition of becoming MLS' 20th club we will look at what DL caliber players are available to choose from. "

On what kind of players do the Cosmos want?
"Good question. The Cosmos want ambitious, technically sound and athletically strong players who fully understand the game and want to continue to improve. "

On possible PDL players being groomed for MLS:
"The PDL team is so that our college age kids can continue to play in the Cosmos system and our younger academy kids can play with college level talent. "

On specifics of the stadium:
"Our plan is to have the most iconic soccer specific stadium in this country that caters to all our fans. Our hope is to secure a ground in excess of a 30k capacity. We definitely have plans to have a supporters section."

On Private vs City/State supporter stadia:
"The current stadium discussions include both private and state funding options however we will not know until we know the final location if there will be state funding. "

On current talks with MLS:
"The MLS talks continue to be positive and are moving forward on a weekly basis. "

On the Umbro issue:
"All parties are aware of our ambitions to become a club in MLS. "

On how the supporters can help the Cosmos:
"Continue to support the growth of The Cosmos with our upcoming initiatives and continue to spread the word to the grassroots communities."

On a possible European tour:
"There is no European tour this year. There will be European games in 2012. "

On where the PDL team might play:
"We are currently working on this. The venue will be part of the upcoming announcement. "

On locations of the previous mentioned All-star games:
"We are currently working on a strategy for games this year and over the coming weeks and months there will be regular announcements. "

On the role of the supporters in the Cosmos plans:
"Supporters are critical to the success of The Cosmos. We are happy to work with any supporters group and we are currently working with the Borough Boys supporters who graciously hosted a Q and A with us last week. "

On where their talent pool will come from:
"If we do our job correctly, the core of our players will be from our academy. "

On activities of Eric Cantona:
"Eric comes over regularly and works with our academy coaches to further develop Cosmos players and will continue to do so over the coming months with an emphasis on player development."

Btw, Joe Fraga and Terry Byrne are today's reps from the Cosmos front office.

On who might coach the PDL team:
"We are discussing as we speak several options to coach the PDL team. We hope to announce the coach as the same timeframe as the PDL team.

On possible stadium locations:
"We are looking within New York City's five boroughs. "

On playing a match this summer:
"We are currently exploring our options for playing a match this year which would be part of our 40th anniversary celebrations. "

In Regards to the PDL team:
"In regards to the PDL team, We are in the process of finalizing the agreement with USL and we are planning on making an announcement in the next two weeks."

The Cosmos are about to hold their online Q & A.
We'll be keeping those who can't follow updated here.

Cosmos holding online Q and A today


Reminder that today the New York Cosmos will be holding an online chat for fans today. 

To participate in the Q and A simply follow  this link http://www.nycosmos.com/online-fan-qa at 11:00 AM EST.