Return of the New York Cosmos?

Pele in his spiffy Cosmos uniform

So this is from the New York Post, which isn’t the most reliable source in the history of the world, but I think it’s interesting nonetheless. Apparently, Pele, among others, is attempting to bring back the New York Cosmos from the dead. I think that’s a spectacular idea because MLS could use two New York City-area teams (the league could also use teams in St. Louis, Portland, Montreal, and Vancouver – but adding all of them goes over 20 teams, which is probably the optimum number).

So, why would this happen? First, MLS wants it to happen. Commissioner Don Garber has said in the past that he wants two NYC-area teams. Second, it makes financial sense, too (with the right backers, of course – NASL is an object lesson in how to screw up a league). Third, players will want to play in NYC. For every Guillermo Barros Schelotto, there’s a Thierry Henry or David Beckham. Resurrecting the Cosmos would also be a nice nod to the game’s history in the United States and give the league the an established franchise in the guise of an expansion team.

I don’t see any flaws in this plan, beyond MLS’s timetable to add teams slowly and deliberately. I also think that MLS should cap the number of teams at 20 (I’d consider raising it to 22 for the right markets, namely those mentioned above). In short, if the finances are there, I don’t see any reason why the Cosmos can’t come back from the dead.

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