July 27, 2013
MY TWO CENTS
Why this New Yorker is switching allegiances from the Red Bulls to the Cosmos
Gino Rullo, a long-time New York City soccer fan, is a former vice president of the Cosmopolitan Soccer League.
"The opinions reflected in the My Two Cents columns do not express the views of the editors or management of BigAppleSoccer. com"
By Gino Rullo
Special to BigAppleSoccer.com
It is very encouraging to see that the New York Cosmos have returned and I think that most agree it is disheartening that they chose the North American Soccer instead of the Major League Soccer.
However I am sure that there were $100 million reasons why they went this route. Without a regulationpromotion structure along with the addition of a second "NYC" MLS team coming in 2015, will there be room for the Cosmos in the MLS as a "third" NYC team if they choose to move up?
Of course technically (and literally) the Red Bulls are New Jersey through and through. There is very little about them that is NY. Not their training grounds, nor their stadium. They show very little interest towards NY even though they say otherwise. I may be stepping out on a limb by saying this but I believe EVERY New Yorker will say that the Red Bulls are a New Jersey team and why should New Jersey be treated so poorly? Hasn't the team been treated as the weird uncle long enough? Stand up and be proud after all, the likes of Sinatra, Bon Jovi and Springsteen all have come from there. Be the New Jersey Red Bulls and be proud.
But all of this aside, I do have to make a glaring observation. Regardless of where the Red Bulls say they are from, regardless of the Cosmos starting in the NASL, regardless of the resurgence of a once globally recognized team, the fact remains that the Cosmos have shown more attachment and attention to New York than the Red Bulls (né MetroStars) have done in all their years combined (in my opinion of course).
Almost every website I go to has a Cosmos advertisement plastered on it. In Penn Station there are people handing out flyers, there are billboards, radio ads, advertisements in Times Square, tons of articles and Facebook is blowing up over it. There is the Cosmos Copa tournament that started in 2009 - four full years before there was even a team.
This all brings to the conclusion that regardless how the Cosmos do this year (and being a New Yorker, I hope they do well), the Cosmos WANT our business. They WANT to be NY's team. They are doing what the Red Bulls never really could do. They have created a buzz, they are getting people involved, and excitement is building.
For the record I have supported the Red Bulls/Metrostars since 2000 (I lived outside of the United States in their early years). I bought season tickets even when I could not go to the games since I looked at it as an investment (however I could not give my tickets away). I believe Red Bull Arena is amazing and convenient to get to, and I of course would be remiss to not point out that one of my idols, Thierry Henry, plays for them (I am a die-hard Arsenal fan). I have supported this faux NY team in the name of U.S. Soccer and the MLS.
I do have to admit though that I will be following the Cosmos while keeping an eye on NYC FC (although as an Arsenal fan can I really support them?). Who knows what will happen to the Cosmos, New York soccer and the various professional leagues in the U.S. but I see it all moving towards a positive future.
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