by DAVE MARTINEZ
After days of speculation, EoS can confirm that media magnate Rocco Commisso is in line to become the New York Cosmos majority owner — if U.S. Soccer once again awards the North American Soccer League Division Two status.
But that is only part of the story.
U.S. Soccer is supposed to announce their ruling on divisional sanctioning late Friday afternoon. The NASL are likely to retain their status. Though both the NASL and the United Soccer League (USL) would require a litany of waivers to earn the designation, it is believed that the infrastructure, money and the NASL’s competitive format puts them a leg above the USL. As originally reported by Big Apple Soccer, Major League Soccer’s hesitance to allow USL a second division status has also served as a roadblock in their D2 ambitions.
If the USSF does go through with their plans to keep the lower divisions at a status quo, Commisso would then buy a majority stake in the Cosmos. Current owners Seamus O’Brien and Sela Sports would continue with the organization in a minority role. Their percentage stake is unknown at the time of this report. However, it is believed that Commisso will own, at least, 60% of the team.
In addition, the Cosmos would also look to debut for the Spring season. Their home field? MCU Park. New York had been in talks with MCU for several months. However, the recent upheaval within the club and the unsteady future of the NASL put those conversations at a standstill.
Nevertheless, MCU continued to blackout potential playing dates at their stadium in case their situation turned around, meaning the Cosmos can still execute their schedule for both the Spring and Fall season. Despite previous reports claiming Columbia University would be in play, sources tell us the only home option for 2017 remains MCU.
Finally, our sources also tell us that a Commisso-led Cosmos will also bring some good news to former team staffers as well. Commisso’s purchase will apparently involve a requirement to pay out any overdue wages to both front office members and players affected in the transition. Select players and front office personnel will also be offered to come back to the team and resume their previous positions.
But again, this is only if the NASL is granted D2 status. If not? The team will more than likely remain under the purview of O’Brien and Sela Sports.