November 15, 2015
Nobody does it better
Two pop songs from the 1970s have come to be associated with the Cosmos. Carly Simon’s "Nobody does it Better" and Queen’s "We Are The Champions." Not surprisingly, both artists were under contract to Warner Communications-owned record labels, the parent company of the Cosmos back in their heyday.
While Warner Communications has been merged and split up several times since those songs were first played as part of post-win celebrations, and the Cosmos themselves took a nearly 30-year hiatus from playing, both tunes still apply, and both were reverberating from the speakers at James Shuart Stadium Sunday night as the Cosmos won their second NASL title in three seasons, defeating the Ottawa Fury 3-2.
Both still apply---for the most part.
When the Cosmos name was revived three years ago, the team’s management vowed to honor the legacy of perhaps the greatest, and certainly most famous, soccer team to ever grace these shores.
They have done a good job of honoring and including their past, from naming Pele the team’s honorary President to having Josef Jelenik, scorer of the winning goal in the Cosmos' 1972 Championship win, serve as Honorary Captain for Sunday’s Championship game.
But there are still a few things missing. One the club hopes to remedy. The other is less cut-and-dried, and more tied to the strength of the growing NASL and the vagaries of market forces.
The team is playing its games in less than ideal conditions at a second division college football stadium, and their league is currently classified as second division, both elements making it a hard sell in the crowded New York market. The Cosmos set a modern league record for postseason attendance, 10,166, for Sunday's championship final, but that remains a far cry from the gilded age when crowds of 70,000 flocked to see the team at Giants Stadium, and well behind the far-less-competitive New York City FC, which drew crowds of 30,000 plus to Yankee Stadium during their recently-completed debut season.
As they say in real estate, location, location, location.
The Cosmos need their own stadium. The league needs the Cosmos to have their own stadium.