The Hofstra Chronicle sports section is pleased to announce that we are now covering the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League. The team famously known for Pele and reinvigorating American soccer in the 1970s is back and playing home games at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium. “It’s the same club, the same league, the same color scheme… owners have changed hands a few times, but it’s the same history, the same Cosmos,” said David Hochman, spokesperson for the club. He continued, saying “We’re trying to build a new legacy while honoring history.”
The Cosmos benefit from their name and image, which is iconic in the annals of American soccer. This is, after all, the team that featured one of the most famous soccer players of all time, Pele, the same man who is now honorary president of the club.
“People remember Pele and people remember the Cosmos very well. They remember 77,000 people in Giants Stadium” said Hochman, referencing the times when the team was something of a national sensation.
The fame of the original Cosmos was brief but incendiary. A series of notable foreign acquisitions such as Pele, Franz Beckenbauer, and Giorgio Chinaglia sparked a successful fan following, one that would quickly dissipate in the years following Pele’s retirement.
The new look Cosmos will try to reestablish their flagship name in the North American Soccer League by appealing to local fans and relying on the media market of New York City.
“We’re trying to spread the word as much as we can[that] there’s pro soccer on Long Island,” said Hochman.
The team’s marketing group has been advertising on WFAN and “Boomer and Carton in the Morning” to appeal to local sports fans. Hochman said that the fans have been enthusiastic about the team so far.
The North American Soccer League is counting on the big-name Cosmos’ big name to be a powerhouse marketing draw, but the outfit has every intention to expand.
“We became the eighth team to join the league. Next year there will be three expansion teams and in the 2015 season there are already two committed teams,” said Hochman.
“It’s been a great response, [the fans] are very passionate, and we sold out the first home game. The last three games we’ve had very strong attendance.”
The Cosmos are an intriguing possibility in the competitive and vicious New York sports market. They are a new team in a small league, but they have an enormous cultural impact based on their name alone.