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Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis

December 1, 2016
My gut feeling: I fear the Cosmos will sit out at least a year if not more unless a miracle happens

Will team captain Carlos Mendes and the Cosmos be back for the 2017 NASL season? The Cosmos might need a lot more money and a perhaps to keep going.
Will team captain Carlos Mendes and the Cosmos be back for the 2017 NASL season? The Cosmos might need a lot more money and a perhaps to keep going.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
By Michael Lewis Editor

Well, we're going to have to wait at least another day, if not more, before discovering the fate of the Cosmos and the North American Soccer League for 2017 and beyond.

At the moment, both organizations are still standing. For how long is another question.

Trying to figure out what direction the Cosmos will go has been difficult to figure.

Depending on what rumor or source you believe, the Cosmos want to pull the plug on the franchise, are either are for sale, are considering a move to the United Soccer League or will sit out a year to get their act together.

My gut feeling? I fear they're gone for 2017 and even perhaps for good -- unless things change dramatically. They are in really poor financial shape from what I believe (they have lost well in the millions since returning in 2013) and I am not certain they have the means to get their act together at this moment.

Sorry, Cosmos supporters.

I hope I'm wrong, but I fear I will be correct.

Even if there is some sort of merger between the NASL and USL -- its officials attended the NASL board of directors meeting in Atlanta this week -- I'm not so certain the Cosmos would want to play in that league that they consider below theirs (unless they are convinced otherwise).

If the USL next week gets the U.S. Soccer blessing as the official second division behind Major League, it could split into two divisions -- non-MLS clubs in the first flight and the MLS-owned sides in the second flight.

If the Cosmos do return, you must wonder what form they will be in and what the public reception would be.

I have a deja vu feeling about what has transpired with the Cosmos.

After the Rochester Lancers went out of business after the 1980 NASL season, the Rochester Flash emerged to replace them as it performed in the American Soccer League. After two seasons, the Flash was forced to go into hiatus and sat out 1983. The team returned to a new league -- the United Soccer League -- for the 1984 season as attendance slumped to ridiculous new low levels -- before the franchise went belly-up and was never heard from again.

So staying out a season can hurt a team's momentum in so many ways. And that's if the Cosmos decide to take that route.

I would advise Cosmos soccer fans to pray to the soccer gods for a miracle or two in the form of new investors or owners if the franchise is to continue.

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