January 7, 2017
Source: Commisso could take control of the Cosmos as early as this week
By Michael Lewis
|Rocco B. Commisso could control the Cosmos as early as this week.
Photo courtesy of Columbia University SID
If all of the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed, the Cosmos could have a new majority owner as early as this week.
Rocco B. Commisso is close to finalizing his purchase of the majority interest in the two-time defending North American Soccer League champions, BigAppleSoccer.com has learned. Commisso, 67, is the CEO of the CEO of Mediacom Communications Corp., the nation's fifth largest cable television company.
The amount of the purchase price was not known.
A local soccer source said the deal could be finalized as early as this week.
"He is the absolute perfect owner for the team," one local soccer aficionado said. "He is passionate about the sport."
The 67-year-old Commisso looks like a perfect fit for the team, given his lifelong love of the game.
The Cosmos had been searching for a new owner after they reportedly had run up losses as much as a reported $30 million since their return to competitive soccer in 2013. Players and front office employees are still owed money from 2016.
When he does become majority owner, Commisso is expected to pay the back wages of players and front office staff.
The Columbia University soccer stadium is named after him as the school recognized Commissoís contributions to the Lions soccer program, as player and alumnus in 2013.
He was a member of the 1967 Columbia freshman menís team that finished unbeaten. He also was co-captain of the 1970 squad, the first Columbia soccer team to compete in the NCAA menís soccer tournament. He is a three-time All-Ivy League honoree and was invited, along with his teammate and co-captain, All-American Len Renery, to participate in the 1972 Olympic soccer team tryouts.
He also has been an active contributor to the Columbia menís soccer program for more than 40 years.
Commisso co-founded the alumni advisory group Friends of Columbia Soccer, and served as its Chair from 1979 to 1986. For more than a decade, Columbia has awarded an annual Menís Soccer Prize in his name.
Born in Calabria, Italy, Commisso earned a bachelorís degree from Columbiaís School of Engineering and Applied Science and a masterís degree from Columbia Business School. He was elected president of the business school student body and was the recipient of the Business School Service Award. In 2004, on the 250th anniversary of Columbiaís founding, the schoolís undergraduate newspaper, Columbia Daily Spectator, listed Commisso among Columbiaís 250 greatest undergraduate alumni.