Aug 3, 2013, 11:35 AM EST
Tonight is the night that fans of the New York Cosmos have been waiting for.
After almost three decades in the soccer abyss, the Cosmos will finally begin play once again as a professional soccer team in North America. Albeit in the second-tier this time out.
Their first game back in the NASL against the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers this evening may not be as glamorous as Pele, Franz Beckenbauer and a plethora of cheerleaders at Giants Stadium in the 1980s. But it is the start of what the Cosmos hope will be a successful journey back to the upper echelons of soccer in the USA.
But it is poignant. Often during the 80s the Strikers and Cosmos battled it out in the NASL and it’s only right that the rivalry between those two franchises is reborn on the same day that the Cosmos are. These two teams last met on May 8, 1983, as the great Giorgio Chinaglia scored twice for the Cosmos in a 3-2 victory.
Earlier this week the club’s Honorary President, Pelé, turned the Empire State Building green to honor the return of the Cosmos.
The return of this global brand to action is big news. Many in the US soccer landscape will be pleased to see them return but with a move to Major League Soccer not on the cards for many years, if at all, it seems as though New York will remain in NASL play for the foreseeable future.
Life in the second-tier will be something new for everyone. But ultimately the US soccer pyramid will be stronger with the Cosmos back in business.
And although things are now much different the Cosmos are well aware of their rich heritage, as new Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese points out.
All of us – the coaching staff, the players, the front office – we are very excited to get this new venture going. The Cosmos have such a special history and it’s wonderful to be a part of their re-birth. This weekend, against the Strikers, against our old rivals, should be a great test and a great start for this team, and I can’t wait.
German legend, World Cup winning captain and former Cosmos star Beckenbauer perhaps sums the glamor of their original NASL heyday best.
“Sometimes, in the dressing room, I think I’m in Hollywood.”
However at 7pm ET tonight at the 15,000 capacity James M. Shuart Stadium on the campus of Hofstra University, Hollywood may seem quite far away.
But who cares. The New York Cosmos are back.
- Mike Magee Wins 2013 MLS Most Valuable Player Award 0
- USA fear toughest ever World Cup draw but relish chance to make history 2
- 2014 FIFA World Cup Draw: Everything you need to know 2
- Premier League Playback: Moyes needs more, Suarez is Superman, Altidore (finally) off the mark 1
- The Benny Feilhaber Conundrum: Has Peter Vermes finally solved the puzzle? 1
- Real Salt Lake’s 2013: The not-so-rebuilding year that could end in an MLS title 1
- Premier League Roundup: Moyes defeated in Everton reunion; top five snag wins 1
- David Moyes bemoans bad luck as former side Everton come back to haunt him 1
- Sit down with Orlando City SC: Taking on Beckham, emulating the Timbers and Kaka in 2015 – Part I (21)
- USA drop one spot to 14th in latest FIFA World Rankings, Portugal surge to fifth (20)
- What US Soccer wants from the World Cup draw (20)
- Video of Jermaine Jones’ terrific goal Saturday for Schalke (18)
- 2014 FIFA World Cup Draw: The sum of all fears scenario for the United States (16)