An Open Letter to the New York Cosmos From a Fan
On Saturday, August 19th, the New York Cosmos hosted the Indy Eleven in a thrilling 3-3 draw. After having spent some time away from the club, I returned to that game to play in a supporters’ tournament beforehand with friends of mine in the New York chapter of FC St Pauli fans (don’t ask me about our results) and stayed to watch the match play out afterwards.
It was an amazing day. Marcos Senna (our legend) had returned to New York. I had a chance to say hello to a few of the boys I knew on the team. The atmosphere of the match was fantastic and the reported attendance of 6,100 not only clocked them in among the better turnouts in Division Two that week, it actually looked like 6,000 in the stadium.
I spent a large portion of the game in the 5 Points, the Cosmos’ supporter groups, and they, as always, brought the thunder to the match with song and smoke. I spent other moments greeting friendly Indy supporters, saying hello to familiar faces in the club, and hugging friends in the mainstand.
All in all, it was a fantastic day and I couldn’t ask for much more.
But, one thing is missing.
Despite the move to Coney Island, despite granting the club another year of life, and despite the recent re-addition of Juan Arango to the team, fans of the New York Cosmos have yet to be presented with any long-term vision for the team.
In 2016, This Is Cosmos Country routinely hounded the Communications Department with questions on what thoughts were for next season. The answer was always the same.
“We are focused on winning another championship and will address that after the season ends.”
They never did. By multiple accounts, the team died and was later brought back to life. Seriously, how many people see their club die twice and come back? The Cosmos have one-upped Jesus.
Rocco Commisso not only saved the club, he went as far as re-signing most of the players who had left. However, and fairly so, he declined to give any long-term vision for the club until he could gain a better understanding of everything.
But, we are now twelve games away from the end of the season. Fourteen if the Cosmos make another title run. The idea of a stadium in Elmont is a distant memory now, swept away by the Empire State Development Corporation at the same time as the near total demise of the team last year. Now, rumors abound of NYCFC looking into the site as a possible stadium location.
There is no clear reason to think things are in bad shape but, sadly, Cosmos fans have seen this road before. And they should be wary. The club has been too silent as of late. The last time they were, we found out, too late, that they were struggling to survive, even as they hoisted silverware. Is the current silence due to strategy being planned or is it just another chapter in the fight to stay alive? It’s up to the club to take the initiative and demonstrate that there WILL be a 2018 season. And that there WILL be a Cosmos club beyond that.
Rocco Commisso has shown himself to be a man of his word, rebuilding this team and righting the wrongs of the previous ownership. But, for a man who opened the year with powerful statements against the USSF and the soccer system of this country, he has been uncharacteristically quiet as of late. Rocco’s track record of success speaks for itself and Cosmos fans hope that it will manifest with the club, as well. But I’m asking for him to come out and tell us that the club, and he, will be around for the long haul. For us and our kids. For the hardcore supporters and for the 6,000 that came out that weekend. For me.
I’m calling on the club to come forward and start talking, be it in an interview or a town hall. We’ve been on this ride once already. Please show us it’s not headed for the same destination.
A Cosmos fan