|Full name||New York Cosmos|
|Stadium||Yankee Stadium (1971, 1976);
Hofstra Stadium (1972–1973);
Downing Stadium (1974–1975);
Giants Stadium (1977–1985)
|League||North American Soccer League|
The New York Cosmos (1971–1985), known simply as the Cosmos for the 1977 and 1978 seasons, was a soccer franchise based in New York City and its suburbs that operated in the North American Soccer League from 1971 to 1984. Founded by brothers Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegün as well as Warner Bros. President Steve Ross, it was without any doubt the strongest NASL franchise, both athletically and financially.
It became known around the world for signing the great Brazilian player Pelé who, though past his prime, was nonetheless one of the team's, and the league's, top gate draws during his tenure with the Cosmos. The NASL folded after the 1984 season, but the Cosmos attempted to operate as an independent team in 1985 before it ceased activity too.
The name was coined by Clive Toye, the club's first general manager. Taking inspiration from the New York Mets, which references "Metropolitans", Toye took it a step further: Cosmopolitans, or Cosmos. Toye staged a "name the team" contest, choosing the entry that matched his planned team name.
For the team colors, Toye chose the green and yellow of Brazil as part of his strategy to lure Pelé to the United States. The club's initial uniform was all green with yellow trim, with the colors reversed on the road uniform - the same colors as that of the previous NASL team the New York Generals, which had folded after the 1968 season. When Pelé did come on board, the kit was all white, just like Santos, while the green top became the away kit with white shorts.
A kit designed by Ralph Lauren was used from 1979 to the end; the home kit remained all white, though with navy and yellow trims. The away kit was made navy shirts and shorts with yellow trim, and unusual socks with then yellow and navy hoops. Later, the away socks were made all navy.
|The Ralph Lauren away kit|
Famous players to play for the club include Edison Arantes do Nascimento (aka Pelé),Carlos Alberto, Ramón Mifflin, Franz Beckenbauer, Vladislav Bogićević, Giorgio Chinaglia, Hubert Birkenmeier, Rick Davis, Marinho Chagas, Andranik Eskandarian, Johan Neeskens, Dennis Tueart, Werner Roth, Julio Cesar Romero, Roberto Cabañas,Chico Borja, Norbero A. Luna, Carlos Caszely, Shep Messing, Yasin Özdenak, Mordechai Spiegler, Jomo Sono (who later named his own soccer club in South Africa the Jomo Cosmos). On October 1, 1977, Pelé closed out his legendary career in front of a capacity crowd at Giants Stadium. In an exhibition match televised nationwide and worldwide, he played the first half with the Cosmos and the second half with his old team Santos.
Much of the New York Cosmos' ability to acquire big players was due to the financial resources of parent company Warner Communications. In the early 80's, Warner was the target of a hostile takeover bid by Australian media magnate Rupert Murdoch. His attempt did not succeed, but afterward Warner sold off several of its assets, among them Atari and Global Soccer, Inc., the subsidiary that operated the Cosmos. The club was sold to a syndicate led by their once star player Chinaglia. This group did not have the capital to continue to operate the team at the level kept by Warner Communications, resulting in a fire sale of many of the stars. By the last season, 1984, the Cosmos did not even make the playoffs. The precipitous decline of the Cosmos after the 1983 season became for many fans and the media proof positive of the grave condition of the whole NASL.
The team was also a member of the Major Indoor Soccer League during the 1984–85 season, but withdrew after 33 games due to low attendance.
In 2006 a feature-length documentary about the New York Cosmos called Once In A Lifetime was released in cinemas. The film was narrated by Matt Dillon and featured interviews with many of the players and people involved in the team.
Since their demise, there have been frequent attempts to revive the club with the team name, logo, and records retained by former Cosmos general manager G. Peppe Pinton. Cosmos merchandise is sold to keep the name alive along with a number of "soccer academies" hosted for youngsters interested in the game.
With the rise of Major League Soccer, there has been confusion regarding the negotiations between various New York area entities – including past and present owners of the New York Red Bulls – and Pinton for the acquisition of the Cosmos name. More pointedly, there is hostility from many MLS clubs to the reintroduction of the name many see as synonymous with the NASL supernova. Since then, other serious movements to revive the Cosmos include a 2002 group headed by Pele which would possibly have pushed for a second New York area franchise or used the Cosmos name as a traveling all-star team similar to the Harlem Globetrotters in practice. Supporters of the movement to revive the Cosmos point in response to the reintroduction of old NASL names San Jose Earthquakes, Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps to considerable success, and the reintroduction of the Seattle Sounders name after intense fan pressure.
In a recent interview Giuseppe Pinton stated that he has changed his views on MLS and has offered the name and history to any New York expansion group that steps forward for free, going on to say that he never wanted money but rather believed that the league was not receptive to reviving or respecting the historical significance of the Cosmos. However after seeing the revival of the Sounders in Seattle as well as plans for the Timbers and Whitecaps to join the league in 2010, he now sees MLS as a league that is prepared to welcome the NASL's legacy.
|1971||NASL||9||10||5||117||2nd, Northern Division||Did not qualify|
|1972||NASL||7||3||4||77||1st, Northern Division||Won Semifinal (Dallas)
Won Championship (St. Louis)
|1973||NASL||7||5||7||91||2nd, Eastern Division||Lost Semifinal (Dallas)|
|1974||NASL||4||14||2||58||4th, Northern Division||Did not qualify|
|1975||NASL||10||12||—||91||3rd, Northern Division||Did not qualify|
|1976||NASL||16||8||—||148||2nd, Atlantic Conference, Eastern Division||Won 1st Round (Washington)
Lost Division Championship (Tampa Bay)
|1977||NASL||15||11||—||140||2nd, Atlantic Conference, Eastern Division||Won Division Championship (Tampa Bay)
Won Conference Championship (Ft. Lauderdale)
Won Soccer Bowl '77 (Seattle)
|1978||NASL||24||6||—||212||1st, National Conference, Eastern Division||Won 1st Round (Seattle)
Won Conference Semifinal (Minnesota)
Won Conference Championship (Portland)
Won Soccer Bowl '78 (Tampa Bay)
|1979||NASL||24||6||—||216||1st, National Conference, Eastern Division||Won Conference Quarterfinal (Toronto)
Won Conference Semifinal (Tulsa)
Lost Conference Championship (Vancouver)
|1980||NASL||24||8||—||213||1st, National Conference, Eastern Division||Won 1st Round (Tulsa)
Won Conference Semifinal (Dallas)
Won Conference Championship (Los Angeles)
Won Soccer Bowl '80 (Ft. Lauderdale)
|1981||NASL||23||9||—||200||1st, Eastern Division||Bye 1st Round
Won Quarterfinal (Tampa Bay)
Won Semifinal (Ft. Lauderdale)
Lost Soccer Bowl '81 (Chicago)
|1982||NASL||23||9||—||203||1st, Eastern Division||Won 1st Round (Tulsa)
Won Semifinal (San Diego Sockers|San Diego)
Won Soccer Bowl '82 (Seattle)
|1983||NASL||22||8||—||194||1st, Eastern Division||Lost 1st Round (Montreal)|
|1984||NASL||13||11||—||115||3rd, Eastern Division||Did not qualify|
|1981/82||NASL Indoor||6||12||4th, American Conference, East Division||Did not qualify|
|1982/83||NASL Indoor||Season cancelled|
|1983/84||NASL Indoor||20||12||2nd||Won Playoff (Chicago)
Lost Championship (San Diego)
|1984/85||MISL||11||22||7th Eastern Division||N/A - withdrew after 33 games|
NASL Outdoor Championships
NASL Runners Up
Trans-Atlantic Cup Championships
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
|New York Cosmos|
|Full name||New York Cosmos|
|Ground||Yankee Stadium (1971, 1976)|
Hofstra Stadium (1972-1973)
Downing Stadium (1974-1975)
Giants Stadium (1977-1985)
|1974||NASL||4th / North|
|1975||NASL||3rd / North|
|1984||NASL||3rd / East|