Cosmos COO Stover rules out MLS move – and NYCFC stadium share

IMAGE, DAVE MARTINEZ FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

FLORAL PARK, N.Y. – Whenever discussing the New York Cosmos’ stadium plans, someone will inevitably ask whether this project will lead the club to a move towards Major League Soccer.

Addressing some 300 people about the team’s Elmont Stadium bid in Floral Park’s Sewanhaka High School, that very question was asked by an audience member — and Cosmos’ Chief Operating Officer Erik Stover was quick to shoot it down.

“We expect our league to play alongside MLS,” Stover said. “We chose the North American Soccer League for a reason. We don’t view our league as second division or minor league in any way. We are trying to build a league that competes with global soccer, global football.”

It is a fair question of course. Major League Soccer has enjoyed a revival in the area through media coverage and fan interest directly related to the establishment of the New York City Football Club — the new Yankee/Manchester City owned franchise that operates out of Yankee Stadium.

Meanwhile, the North American Soccer League has hardly made a blip in local circles, outside of the occasional splash signing from the Cosmos. The team has struggled to garner consistent media coverage – even with local newspaper Newsday whom cover the Long Island area.

Despite the present standing of both leagues or the apparent disparity in attention and success, Stover, a former MLS executive with the New York Red Bulls, claims the NASL model has the higher ceiling for growth between both leagues over the long term.

‘”I had a very real experience personally in MLS and understand its restrictions and understand why they have those restrictions,” Stover acknowledges. “But we see soccer in this country growing, and with the restrictions MLS has, it would be very had to participate in the global market place.”

Those restrictions, of course, range from a tight salary cap to a byzantine roster rulebook, designed to quell competition over talent amongst their franchise investors. NASL operates more freely, with a laissez-faire central body overseeing league direction and sponsorship, with teams able to spend as they see fit.

“Our league is growing,” Stover said. “Just four years ago, average attendance was 1,500. It’s now 8,000.”

Stover also touts the growth from eight to eleven teams in a four-year timespan, with a league initiative to acquire “18 teams by 2018.”

And speaking of NYCFC, an audience member submitted a question simply asking “Have the Cosmos considered a stadium share plan with the new MLS team?”

After an initial smile and chuckle, Stover simply said, “No. We haven’t.”

  • NYCSPORTSPUNK

    “Major League Soccer has enjoyed a revival in the area through media coverage and fan interest directly related to the establishment of the New York City Football Club — the new Yankee/Manchester City owned franchise that operates out of Yankee Stadium” Really ?

    • DanGerman

      NYCFC gets an attendance figure in one game that’s better than TOTAL attendance of the COSMOS spring season 2014 and most likely the 2015. So yeah, NYCFC is kinda a big deal in the city.

      • NYCSPORTSPUNK

        Keep losing on the field & that shine will go poof !

      • Realist

        Give them a couple of losing seasons in Yankee Stadium & they will be the 1999 Metrostars.

        • Ulrich

          No, nobody will ever be able to follow in the footsteps of the Metrostars/RB franchise. When a team loses their first game ever, in the closing minutes, by having one of their supposedly strongest foreign players score an own goal, the hex is on and the team is jinxed. And it’s highly improbable that another MLS team will ever cycle through 15 Head Coaches & 10 General Managers/Sporting Directors in only 20 years of existence. That’s a certifiable tailspin starting from the top down.

          • Realist

            I don’t know. The Blue team is pretty bad. I can see fans losing interest if the team wins 5 games all year. This is a very bad team. Let’s not lose sight of that.

            • Ulrich

              Feel free to say that after NYCFC has had 20 seasons to get it right and ends up with only a single piece of hardware. As of now, they’ve had 3 months to work out the kinks with a single transfer window. And if after 20 seasons they achieve the same ineptitude of success as Metro/RB (a lack of significant hardware coupled with middling attendance) then I’ll be the first to say they’ve under-achieved and didn’t deliver, but until then, speculating on the future is a fools errand.

              • The Realist

                A greater fool’s errand is patting yourself on the back after just two months of home games.

            • DanGerman

              You only have to be better than most MLS expansion teams for fans to be content. Most fans realize its going to take 1 or 2 seasons before they put out a winning team, so that’s not a real concern yet.

      • They’re not doing so great attendance wise, and are far behind the Metrostars first season. Things will only get worse.

        • DanGerman

          So are the Cosmos and all of the NASL teams so what’s your point? The facts don’t appear to show a strong following over 16k season tickets,which incidentally is more than any team in the NASL. Also is no one worried that as it stands right now NASL doesn’t meet the USSF standards for Division 2. While the USL does and there may be a reshuffle of divisions. Man that would suck if NASL becomes the official Division 3 of the United States.

          • I didn’t say NASL was doing great attendance wise, but you were exaggerating the success of NYCFC attendance. You brought up NYCFC attendance in the comments section of an article about the Cosmos, not me. What’s your point?

            • DanGerman

              How am I exaggerating their attendance? The home opener had 43,507 people, the next one? 27,054 in attendance. The team has not had a crowd lower than 20K yet. How am I exaggerating the impact of attendance? So you’re saying that the fewer people come,the better?

              • Anthony

                Well they haven’t reported a crowd below 20K, but anyone that has been there will tell you they are inflating those numbers substantially. Hell during the 4game tour all the reporters made a point to state the announced attendance was simply not reality and that it was under 15K when they claimed 23K. Its not a new trick, a lot of teams do it, but NYCFC is doing it to the extreme because they need to project that this tragic decision is a success.

        • slowleftarm

          They may get worse but I doubt they’ll ever be playing in front of 4k in a college stadium in Hempstead. Now that’s rock bottom.

          • Guy Blades

            You are obsessed with the Cosmos. You need to get together with Larry’s a Simpleton. I see a real Love Connection there.

            • slowleftarm

              Nah just killing time at work, trolling Hempstead supporters.

              • Guy Blades

                You need to work harder. It will help you overcome your borderline physcho-sexual fascination with the Cosmos.

        • Tommy Blaney

          Metro had to spend $150,000 per game to rent out Giants Stadium. They did not get any cut of parking or concessions. They lost money every time they played. NYC owns the stadium they play in and gets the additional revenue streams. NYC can turn a profit even if they get no more than the 16k season ticket holders to the games. Add in guaranteed money from the television deal, and it looks like a pretty good business model. This year the quality on the field is poor as was expected from an expansion team. In future years the challenge is to finish in the top 12. As a playoff team, they should be able to get enough fannies in the seats to turn a healty profit. Playoff games = Money.

          The Cosmos are renting out the facility in Hempstead. They are paying to get the games on ESPN 3. No money is coming in. They need to figure out how to make money and they need to figure it out soon. Not just that…they need to be in a league where the owners of the other teams are willing to spend on players. A superclub playing against a bunch of Sunday pub league teams won’t get it done. That’s not even factoring in that most of these teams play in minor markets that will drag down the windfall from any future tv deal. Ohhh and don’t forget that USL plans to expand to 40 markets and make NASL face competition for attention.

          I hope they Cosmos succeed. More soccer is always welcome in my book. The Saudi Arabians that own the team can make a killing filling Elmont with heterosexual soccer fans.

          Let’s hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

  • NASL competing with MLS will no doubt be a struggle, as MLS has shown it is a ruthless business. However, there is no doubt that MLS with its rules, CBA and long term television contract has locked itself into long term mediocrity (at best). NASL may fail, but it also has given itself a chance to be a great league on the global scene, something MLS has failed to do and cannot do.

    • DanGerman

      MLS currently has T.V contracts with US, Brazilian, English,Middle eastern and most of europe(EUROSPORT). All of them pouring money into the league. NASL is PAYING ESPN to show its games on ESPN3. How is NASL winning on that end? So paying to show games instead of receiving money for those games is a viable financial plan?

      • OpenCupFan

        Is NASL paying ESPN3?

        • DanGerman

          If the NASL was receiving money for the games they would have announced that as a pretty big deal. What was announced was a “Partnership” which means NASL pays for the right to be seen on ESPN3. MLS had a similar “partnership” when the league started. They now receive money from ESPN but it took years and bundling the USNT games with the MLS games for that to happen.

          • OpenCupFan

            What would MLS get without USMNT?

            • DanGerman

              Don’t know honestly. People have to remember that MLS is the USSF’s baby. They gave them the us soccer rights so that they can make money,they will never allow the NASL to be a recognized D1. Don Garber is on the USSF board of directors, Sunil Gulati is a former employee of the Revs and MLS. The NASL should just focus on being a stable D2 league and nothing else. Trying to become D1 without TV money and your own stadiums is a sure fire way to sink the league. There is a silver lining though of NASL folds most teams if not all will just join the USL.

              • HydraHamster

                Join the USL?

                The NASL was formed due to a large team divorce from the USL. The USL is nothing, but MLS’s “bind over boy” now. Believe when I say; if the NASL fold, another one will be created.

                • DanGerman

                  The USL that the teams separated from is not the USL that exist now. Teams would have less travel since the USL covers the whole U.S with teams. They’d save money and the fans wouldn’t care if they were in the USL as long as they had a team to support. The only fans who wouldn’t be on board with that are the Cosmos fans and honestly I don’t think thats going to stop the other teams from joining.

                  • HydraHamster

                    The NASL teams want to be MLS’s equals instead of being equal to MLS’s reserve teams. I agree the USL is not the same USL that the NASL separated from. THEY ARE MUCH WORSE!!! USL-Pro created great teams in Seattle, Portland and Orlando. The USL today copy the MLS and uses the MLS reserve to form faster expansion. Even some USL teams have a problem with playing against MLS reserve squads in their league. But since they are trying to make it into MLS, they are using the partnership to gain entrance into MLS. If anything, the USL teams should join the NASL. It would kill the MLS Junior smell from them.

              • Chepe pedos

                S.u m marketing : mls owners …..traffic sports : nasl ……. S.u.m : MLS , Mexico , u.s soccer , mls friendlies ….. Traffic sports : NASL , Concacaf champions league, copa America, USA soccer , Brazil,Argentina , and so on national teams, and rights to gold up …. MLS : espn, Univision,fox…..NASL : espn 3 , local television for each team, one worlds sports , Brazil globo ….. Mls : s.u.m ….nasl : traffic sports , one worlds sports / worlds sports group ….. So you have one marketing giant for MLS….and three for the NASL : traffic, worlds sports, sela sports .. … Hope you get the point on what the cosmos coo meant ..

    • DivinityHope

      CBA doesnt cover DP’s. And since MLS has a soft cap, the league hasnt locked itself into anything. A soft cap gives the league flexibility. MLS could add 8 DP’S if they wanted. And Long TV deals over time, help build better TV ratings.MLS TV ratings are up: ESPN2 +18% – UniMas +29% – Fox Sports 1 +59% (NBCSN last year) via @socceramerica. While MLS international TV deals contract lenght, are only four years. MLS is well known around the globe, can a second division be?

      • The Cosmos are actually better known globally than MSL.

        • DivinityHope

          If they were well known, then their facebook followers should be more, no? The Cosmos are not known by the anyone born after their collapse. MLS is known all over the world.

        • DanGerman

          I’ll grant you that in Germany most people don’t know who Martin St.Louis is but they certainly do know MLS. They can see all the games on cable. You know what they can’t see? NASL games.

          • HydraHamster

            That’s actually false. The ESPN3 deal is worldwide.

            • DanGerman

              Online means “worldwide”. There isn’t an actual ESPN 3 channel to speak of.

              • HydraHamster

                But it shows in the United States, Australia, Brazil, Chile, the Middle East, New Zealand and parts of Europe. With the popularity of online streaming over cable on the rise, I say the NASL is in the good.

                • DanGerman

                  Sure they’re getting there moneys worth. While MLS is getting PAID by networks in those countries to show the games. Which would you rather have?

                  • HydraHamster

                    It took MLS almost two decades to get a international TV deal. What the NASL have is a good starter deal. When the support grows, the TV deals will too. MLS proved that they can have a bad product and still get a good TV deal with just great fan support.

                    • A Zee

                      You mean a bad product like the Football League was before the Premier League was created to get big TV contracts. It was the money that made the PL improve it’s product.

        • slowleftarm

          I keep hearing about the Cosmos “global brand” but I’ve traveled pretty extensively and have even asked soccer fans about this so-called global club and usually I get blank stares and sometimes someone will recall that 40 years ago Pele played a few games for them. That isn’t much to hang your hat on. Hardly anyone in the US under age 40 knows anything about them.

          • Realist

            Taking the Path to Harrison doesn’t count as traveling extensively.

          • I just got back from Sweden and soccer fans knew that Raul played for the Cosmos and that they were playing against Cuba. Fans knew of the existence of MLS but not the teams.

            • DanGerman

              So being well known in Sweden is a big thing? Do you realize that the Cuba game is set between the Cosmos’s 9th and 10th game of the spring season. They are going to be play that 10th game on 3 days rest. That just doesn’t seem wise to me, I hope they’re getting paid in US dollars and not Cuban peso’s cause all those zero’s on the check don’t amount to much if they’re in Cuban money.

          • slowleftarm

            Man U, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich. Those are global “brands” in the soccer world. Hempstead Cosmos? Um.

            • DanGerman

              Exactly. They should focus the marketing of the team in long island and queens. So far they’re more concerned with being popular in El Salvador and Cuba than in NYC.

        • HydraHamster

          The Cosmos are more known in the Asian continent because of the One World Sports TV deal. However, in America, the TV deal is limited to ESPN3 and maybe a local TV deal. MLS is known world wide, but is getting a large group of people making fun of it because of the way it runs. MLS’s own international TV broadcasters was making fun of them and belittle the product. There are a few praises, but being overshadowed by confused overseas soccer fans. The number one question always asked was the length of the season. When adding up the season, MLS should play 38 regular season matches a year per team, but instead playing 34 per team. Then you have people confused with how MLS’s single entity works to the point even the British broadcasters was going in circles trying to figure it out.

        • Chepe pedos

          You are right on that … Just look at the Paul scholes testimonial , compared to the Gary Neville one… 75,000 to 40 ,000 ….look at their recent successful world tour , 25+ in china , sell outs in California . And Latin America … Compared to other MLS teams who do not get those numbers . If there was an option between an MLS team and the New York cosmos at maracana stadium , I will bet anything , people will choose the cosmos .. Like it or not, the cosmos are american soccer .

          • DanGerman

            So American soccer only gets around 5K a game then? It doesn’t matter how popular you are around the globe if you can’t pull the fans in back home. Unless of course the Cosmos are becoming the Harlem globetrotters of soccer.

        • Ali C is my man

          Possibly if you’re over 50 and been living under a rock for the last 20 years.

    • slowleftarm

      “NASL may fail, but it also has given itself a chance to be a great league on the global scene”

      LOL

  • NYCSPORTSPUNK

    MLS has TV deal with a bunch of countries, that’s nice and all but when the product on the field is complete **** those deals won’t be renewed(NBCsports)

    • DivinityHope

      Except TV deals are renewed base off Tv ratings & MLS TV ratings are up.

      • MLS is locked in for 7 years.

        • DanGerman

          And NASL has no TV, so getting money over 7 years as opposed to shelling money out for what amounts to espn 8 “El Ocho” is a better deal?

        • slowleftarm

          Right, they are locked in to getting $90m a year for seven years and having at least three games a week on national television. Remind me what channel the Hempstead games are on again?

      • Tony

        Except MLS, which is based on piggybacking off US soccer. I would love to see the TV deal MLS would get based on their ratings

        • DanGerman

          And I would love to see what the mets would do if they had a owner that spent like a large market club but they don’t so it is doesn’t matter. The us games ARE bundled and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.

    • Ulrich

      NBC picked up the EPL for a ton of $$ – $250M over 2 years (which was previously shown by Fox) so they’re putting their eggs in that basket since it’s the most watched league in the world and they can garner more marketing revenue. It’s not a slight on MLS at all; if they had not won the bidding for the EPL, then they’d have bid more to stick with MLS (which was won by a combined ESPN/Fox bid ~$75M).

    • slowleftarm

      Ok but if the MLS product is **** and the NASL is just a bunch of MLS rejects (with the occasional 40 year has been) what does that make the NASL product?

      • NYCSPORTSPUNK

        I don’t know, you tell me >>>>>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lO7nGDyEe1c

        • NYCSPORTSPUNK

          also take a look at those beautiful stats at the end, it’s what i would call an ass whooping !

      • slowleftarm

        I guess when you have to travel to a college stadium in Hempstead to watch minor league soccer, you’ll hang your hat on a win over RBNY II in a tournament no one cares about. Sad but true.

        • NYCsportspunk

          ASS WHOOPING !!!

        • Dan V.

          Was at the game, rb put out same roster as their mls season game the week before, and it was total domination in all aspects of the game, I actually felt bad for the traveling redbull supporters , they must have been truly disgusted. Cosmos were also missing their best players, Senna didn’t play.

  • Jason

    Erik Stover sure lies a lot.

    • Anonymous

      At least EC knows how to work a room of 300. Can’t be said for Ali Curtis.

  • HydraHamster

    I get that NASL wants to be a first division league, but the USSF will not allow it. MLS holds to much power over the divisions and the USSF. Garber, with all his inexperience got all the divisions in a death lock they can not get out of. The only way any of the divisions can have any meaning is by fighting against the USSF. A soccer governing body supposed to be the voice and heart of American soccer. Here, the USSF is the heart and voice of MLS, the USMNT and the USWNT. Even the USWNT is unhappy with the USSF’s treatment.

    I now I will get people disagreeing with me, but the NASL is a better league than MLS. MLS is surviving off of greed, player controlling, Americanizing and division controlling. MLS feel that everything with money is above the sport and players. The NASL is not greedy, not controlling, traditional and actually wants a relationship with other divisions that have NOTHING to do with reserve teams partnerships. They believe in a united soccer pyramid. Sadly, they are the only ones expressing on wanting to form a united soccer division. The MLS is not for it, the USL is to much of a MLS Junior League and the rest of the divisions are off in their own world. The best the NASL can do is gain a partnership with the NPSL.

    Meanwhile, the best things the NASL can do to gain more popularity, become better teams and seen more serious is by joining CONMEBOL competitions. That’s what they really need. Since they can’t get any spots for the CONCACAF competition, CONMEBOL is the next great thing. Just like MLS is in the FIFA video games, NASL would have some teams in PES. It would also help the teams be seen more worldwide and get the word out about how they are traditional and serious about being 1st division. MLS’s system is to confusing and unorganized to the point European people who watched MLS watched in confusion.

    • DanGerman

      You realize that going against the USSF is the last thing you’d want. If they revoke the leagues licence then they can’t play in the US open cup let alone CONMEBOL competitions. They are effectively banned from any and all FIFA sanctioned cups.

      • HydraHamster

        That’s my point. You have to fight the USSF in order to have a meaning. It’s best not trying than going for something hopeless.

        • DanGerman

          You can’t fight the USSF! They are the law for soccer in this country so you either play by their rules or you don’t play at all.

          • HydraHamster

            You keep repeating my point. MLS controls the USSF in a twisted way that keeps the lower divisions helpless like other American sports lower divisions.

            The only way they can fight back can end up ending them in the end. That’s becoming an outlaw league like the American Soccer League (America’s first 1st division league under the USSF). This time, instead of them being first division, it’s second division. However, another American soccer governing body can form with the approval of FIFA if the USASA backed the NASL. Remember, the USSF is not our first soccer governing body. Our first one was called the American Football Association. The USSF was under another name as an amateur soccer division association. The USSF fought the AFA to become the first soccer governing body of the United States sanctioned by FIFA. So, anything is possible, but it takes a lot of guts, risks and $$$.

            • DanGerman

              Okay let’s say NASL decides to become not only a league but its own federation. Since Gulati who is the head of the USSF AND on the executive board of FIFA would simply ban the league from EVERYTHING. FIFA would not object and they would come out and recognize only the USSF as the governing body of the U.S. since again Gulati is on the board. The leaves the NASL in a situation where NO ONE is going to work with them in fear of reprisals from FIFA and the USSF. I can see most NASL teams jumping ship before this happens. I hope everyone on this realizes that the Cosmos DONT speak for the rest of the NASL, If they did Minn U would have stayed and SA wouldn’t be dreaming about joining MLS.

              • HydraHamster

                Gulati may have a seat in the USSF, but he don’t have the power that Blatter (FIFA President) and Jeffrey Webb (FIFA Vice President and CONCACAF President) have. They are the final voice of what will happen. The main problem is if they reject the NASL. The reason why the USSF won over the AFA because the USSF had all the amateur leagues in their corner with more of a nation wide association. In order for this to work, the USASA have to be in the NASL’s corner (which is unlikely). The USASA is in control of the division 4 and below. If the NASL somehow gains control (or team up with the NPSL), they can easily win it to take down the USSF or start a second American soccer body. All they have to do is meat the requirements and asked for approval. The hard part is if they get rejected or not. Next comes the rebuilding, finding a better TV deal and ect. Doing what I listed is very risky and very unlikely. The NPSL already have bad blood with the USSF and the NASL might fight back against the USSF if MLS continues to have all the control even after they prove themselves worthy. It’s a ticking time bomb.

                On the other topic: Minnesota United left because their club was being threaten by a NFL owner who wanted to start a MLS team in their territory. It was a business move that is very unfortunate since Minnesota was a great asset to the league going forward. SA on the other hand is a different story. Being a lower division league means that there will be some owner going in it to impress MLS. Even NASL’s president Bill Peterson acknowledge that fact. It’s unfortunate for every league to go through, but the NASL said it will not stop them going forward. The Jacksonville Armada is a great team to fill in the hole Minnesota will leave. SA on the other hand have to many competitions to make the MLS jump.

                • DanGerman

                  So the NASL would fund the usasa like the USSF? And this competing soccer federation would create a mens national team from the NASL and NPSL? Currently the USSF makes a ton of money from Nike and TV deals, plus a cut of any and all friendly matches. The competing federation will have to compete with the fact that fifa only recognizes the USSF and with an exco who is on their board why would they side against him? Webb also knows where he makes his money and he’s not going to rock the boat for an upstart federation with no revenue and no control of the money making products SUM and MLS.

                  • Hydrahamster

                    There is one big thing you are missing. The unhappy players within MLS. If the new governing body is a success and they focus on American players the right way, expect players to leave MLS. There are many giant holes the USSF have that the NASL can succeed in. The first one is the USSF dysfunctional nature, unorganized nature, inexperience, league Americanizing and greed. All the NASL and the USASA have to do is add in experience soccer professionals to run the divisions, let communities own some teams, gain large support in the youth level by giving them better training/development, make all the divisions traditional, keep other sports from running the divisions, make it known from the beginning that promotion and relegation will happen and free agency. The USSF failed for 102 years. With a nation wide club plan and build to compete internationally, TV deals and hardcore fans will follow eventually. It’s all about marketing and selling a true growing product. You can not really say MLS is growing. They only manage to be competitive with only themselves and only help themselves grow. The clubs not even stand on their own to the point they can be easily overshadowed by a serious independent club.

                    • DanGerman

                      What unhappy players? The ones that JUST approved a new Union contract? There’s NO player unhappiness, sure there are a few players that want a new deal but there is NOTHING close to what you’re describing. It’s not like the NASL is a viable alternative, they’re not paying any more for the players. I’m sorry but you’re grasping at straws here. Pretty much every metric has shown MLS is growing. Attendance, ratings, quality of players and money from TV contracts have gone nothing but up for MLS.

                    • HydraHamster

                      Believe me. I do not follow MLS news for a reason because they keep out what’s really going on in the league. The players are not happy without free agency. When the new CBA was approved, there was a large group unhappy with about it. It was a bitter ending that is far from over.

                      Saying MLS is growing in quality is like saying McDonald’s food quality got better. It hasn’t. It’s still the same process, greasy crap I stop eating for a decade. McDonald’s with all it’s problems is popular in the food industry, but it’s the worse thing for people eating it. Same thing with MLS players. The popularity goes up, but the quality of it remains low. How I view about MLS is the same about McDonald’s. McDonald’s can never be anywhere near a five star restaurant. MLS will never be near one of the best under the single entity, horrible player development and inexperienced managers.

                    • HydraHamster

                      I mean, MLS news on the mlssoccer.com website.

    • slowleftarm

      Lol…yeah Boca Juniors v. Hempstead Cosmos in the Copa Libertadores. What is this guy smoking?

      • The Realist

        You are obsessed. You must get over this. You need help.

      • HydraHamster

        Why not? It would be a great learning experience. The Liga MX is a great example of how much those teams learned and grow facing tough competitions. Sure they will lose, but in order to be the best and prove your point as a competitor of MLS, they must prove themselves against heavy competitions. All the NASL teams want is competition and the Copa Libertadores is perfect.

        What league wants to join a competition with the win being easier? A mediocre, weak minded loser.

        What league wants to join a competition with the win being harder? A determine league, competitive league.

        Talking and facing mediocre teams is cheap.

        • DanGerman

          What is the incentive to invite NASL teams to copa libertadores? With mexican teams they realized it would be a ratings boon but I can’t see any benefit for CONMEBOL to invite NASL. Plus they’d need the permission of the USSF to play and I simply don’t see that happening.

          • HydraHamster

            The CONMEBOL president seems interested. However, MLS is the main priority over them. MLS already have good market value to them, but the NASL have potential market value if they compete in South America.

            —————————————–

            “MLS is one of the top leagues from an organizational standpoint, but there are still improvements that need to be made in order to look at it in the light where it can threaten the best leagues in the region like Mexico, Brazil, etc.” says Arango. “U.S. squads — MLS or even NASL [North American Soccer League] — have to face the best and beat them in order to be considered the best on the pitch. They are close to getting there, but need stiffer competition in order to be more battle-tested and hardened when the time comes.” – Arango

  • Taco monster

    Let me ask this, did NASL promise something cosmos and cosmos to them.
    What is wrong with NASL and cosmos front office. What’s is going on?
    The only thing I see here happening is, nycfc and cosmos fighting for a stadium site and both wasting more money just to give their fans a stadium.
    Who will get their stadium first? My gut says cosmos but my heart say nycfc.
    Another thing, if garber wants to bury cosmos then just rebrand red bull and that would put cosmos too deep to come out.
    A simple rename would shut the cosmos fans but as long as red bull are alive, then cosmos will live.

    • NYCsportspunk

      huh, what ?

  • Tony

    Sure are a lot of comments from MLS people about a team that “doesn’t matter”

    • Kevin

      I totally agree. I went on this article to read how the heck the cosmos can get out of that god forsaken stadium and i just read a bunch of comments from red bull/nycfc fans. I love EOS but I don’t ever get this obsession those fans have with checking out what’s going on with the Cosmos. Your fans of MLS teams why even bother with the Cosmos, it makes no sense. And I’m a die-hard Cosmos fan who thinks we blew it by not getting into the MLS, but I love them anyway. Go worry about your own teams and the problems they seem to have.

      • DanGerman

        I’m actually a Cosmos fan and also an NYCFC fan! I’m big on supporting your local side and the Cosmos are NYC second division side.I’m also a cold hard realist and believe what ifs and opinion have no say in any discussion when facts are readily available.

        • OpenCupFan

          You may be the worst fan in history.

          • DanGerman

            How so, I see the team for what it is and am disappointed in the direction of the team. The Cosmos need to get out of hofstra and need to market the club to the LOCAL population and THEN if you get the crowds do you start trying to build something that resembles a top club. Right now they’re talking a mean game but when you get crowds of 4 and 5k you’re NOT a top club. Indy is absolutely killing the Cosmos attendance wise but no one seems to care, they just drink the Kool aide and tell themselves as long as I blindly follow the club everything’s going to be okay. Well its not. The NASL is in trouble and all we here is about how they’re going to do this and that in 5 years to be on par with MLS. They need to worry about stabilizing the league first before anything else. Oh and an extra defender or two on the Cosmos back line and would be awesome as well.

            • OpenCupFan

              How so? All you see is fault in the Cosmos and nothing but praise for other teams.

              Nothing Cosmos have done compares to the Lampard fiasco.
              ManCity junior’s attendance has been inflated after the first game. And anyway, as someone else said, you can’t base on the handful of games they have played but you don’t show any reservation in praising them and in attacking the Cosmos.

              Yeah, Hofstra isn’t ideal but it isn’t horrible either. I prefer it over driving to New Jersey immensely. Game day at Hofstra is just fine, and I’m driving from the Bronx. Yeah, it’s not their own place and if they’re still in year 10 it will be disappointing but being there in year 3 is just fine for beginners. Just fine. You have no problem critics get, but what would be an acceptable alternative to you? Nothing is ideal, but Hofstea is fine for a start.

              As for Indy etc, that isn’t a knock on the Cosmos, but it is definitely an asset to the NASL. You taking anything positive about NASL and try to turn it into an attack. Indy’s is a positive for the NASL, not a knock on the Cosmos.

              You attack their international games and continued aspirations to be a global brand. But what is wrong with them trying to grow locally and internationally? You really think going to Hong Kong, El Salvador, and Cuba hurts the Cosmos brand? Only in the backwards world of the franchise system does a teams’ endeavors to separate itself from the pact garner it condemnation.

              The Cosmos have been true to their tradition (you know, that thing their neighbors don’t posses) while being innovative in expanding their brand all the while in the 2d Division. You want to attack their moves, but in truth you don’t know how to handle them because they are not like anything you have seen before. Nothing they have done would suggest they have forgotten their local fans or the New York fans, nothing.

              They are rocking the boat and if you were a fan you would appreciate the things they are doing instead of attacking them for going to Hong Kong and winning a tournament that pays more than the mls championship. Did you get that last bit, the Cosmos made more money winning a tournament in Hong Kong than the mls champion will get. Not sure how you criticize that.

              It’s not perfect and it isnt pretty always, but if it was easy the Cosmos wouldn’t still be the most recognized soccer brand in the U.S. 30 years later.

              • DanGerman

                I point to indys attendance not as a slight to the NASL but as a condemnation of the lack of marketing to locals by the Cosmos. How does indy get 10k and the Cosmos only 5k? Have the Cosmos done anything to market to locals? They’re not mentioned in the local papers this website (empire of soccer) even mentions the lack of media relevance in the NY market so empireofsoccer is also biased against the Cosmos? No just stating the facts. The Cosmos got 5k for the Brooklyn game and I kept hearing that it was really cold and that kept the fans away, while the second game of NYCFC had 27k and it Frickin SNOWED I was there and I can confirm the crowd was accurate. I tried to get tickets to the mcu game but everywhere I looked on the Cosmos website you could only get them in a package which is dumb and probably contributed to the low crowd. Blind hope in something won’t make it succed, remember that. Base your ideas on factual evidence and you’ll be fine.

                • OpenCupFan

                  Who is saying attendance is ideal? Clearly it isn’t. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. It is as if you are dedicated to only restating the negatives.

                  As for Brooklyn, I went to the game and had zero problem getting tickets. Zero. Even saw a guy walking around outside the stadium wearing a Warriors vest, man that was awesome – but I digress. And yeah, it was freezing, if I had little kids with me I would have left. But I didn’t and toughed it out, even still, I was disappointed the game didn’t sell out. But, on the other hand I was glad they tried something different and really enjoyed my first trip to Coney Island.

                • Sam U El

                  Really? You actually are trying to talk about the Cosmos or NASL attendance after the struggles MLS has endured for 20 years? And you actually want to compare and contrast Indy and NYC?

                  I

                  • DanGerman

                    Attendance is the primary indicator for success, is it not? In the NASL Minnesota, Indy, SA and now Jacksonville have better attendance records than the Cosmos. None of those teams have the legacy and history, so what are they doing right? The Cosmos averaged around 5k last season that’s just terrible and aside from a silly billboard outside of REALLY, and handing out flyers to NYCFC fans at their home opener I’ve seen squat to advertise the team. I EXPECTED a sell out for Brooklyn and they couldn’t pull it off, they need to do something and fast. If the Cosmos pulled the crowds that Indy has I’m almost certain the stadium would have been green lit already. And by the by MLS sure had its struggles with attendance but currently it averaging a little over 20K per game league wide so they’re doing fine now.

                    • Ulrich

                      Historically in MLS, if the attendance figures are low for a few years running, the team winds up either to be relocated, re branded (after a hiatus), or buried. The owners wouldn’t enact any of those measures if the team was economically viable at such low number (don’t discount the percentage of operating budget comes from the game day experience: ticket, parking, concessions, merchandise, etc). And all of these teams had a higher average attendance that the Cosmos. So if the Cosmos truly are a well followed & supported team, the supporters aren’t making it known on game day.

                      Miami Fusion (buried): 9,403 average, 11,177 high, 7,460 low
                      Tampa Bay Mutiny(buried): 11,106 average, 13,106 high, 9,452 low
                      San Jose Clash/Quakes (relocated/re branded): 12,919 average, 17,232 high, 9,635 low
                      Chivas USA (buried/ to be re branded as a new franchise LAFC): 14,033 average, 17,080 high, 7,063 low

                    • Anthony

                      most people would say WINNING is the primary indicator of success.

                • Joey

                  Now, I’m not sure if you are making things up or if you really couldn’t figure out how to order single game tickets. The tickets for MCU Park were not only sold in packages, they were sold individually as well. Also, that Saturday, May 2nd, was considered one of the biggest sports’ Saturdays in history. There was the Kentucky Derby, NHL playoffs, NBA playoffs, NFL Draft Day, Yankees vs Red Sox, Floyd vs Mayweather, etc.

                  I, along with 3 orders, went out to the game. All things considered, it was a very good crowd for a cold Spring evening and with the amount of sports action going on that day.

      • HydraHamster

        I feel MLS fans are threaten by the NASL because they want to become the first division. The NASL sees themselves equal to MLS while MLS seeings otherwise. In my opinion, without promotion and relegation, there is no true distinction between any of the teams. We are made to believe MLS have the best teams in the USA, but they only have the richest. With the NYCFC and Orlando being new teams, can you really say they are better than anyone of the clubs on the bottom divisions? No. The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup is not a good measuring stick to see who is the better team. However, the major thing the NASL lost in this debt is not having the three CONCACAF Championship League spots.

        Note: You can not say Orlando was the same team in the USL. Greed is what runs American sports and it shows greatly in MLS. MLS say they want to grow soccer in the United States, but when they promote exciting teams, it is for the money. The teams who gets promoted is usually not the best team in the lower division league and they they expand with only the owners and brand. The clubs do not join.

  • OpenCupFan

    NASL attendance has grown by maybe triple digits since its inception.

    Every team in NASL has a TV deal in their market, I believe.
    Cosmos are regional, you can see Cosmos on cable from Pennsylvania to New England – every
    game. I wonder how many other soccer teams have that type of market reach in the U.S.

    Cosmos will get a stadium, only question is when. New England, DC, just off the top of my head, still don’t have a stadium – timeline for Cosmos is uncertain, but it won’t be 20 years like these two “first division” franchises.

    ESPN3 games and accompanying coverage is worldwide. This is good for a second division in its fifth year, ESPN at any level is good for these guys.

    NASL and the Cosmos are doing just fine for their vintage, if they can keep up at this pace they will be in a great position.

    #SoccerWarZzzzzzzzzzzzzz in full effect baby – pick your side and support your club

    • DanGerman

      The revs play in a football stadium because Kraft owns the team and don’t pay rent. DC is building a new stadium near the Nationals Park so you’re analogy is somewhat incorrect. Do you have any data figures that back up your attendance statement? By the by there’s no rivalry between the Cosmos and any of the local mls teams since the Cosmos don’t play in MLS.

      • OpenCupFan

        1- whatever your reasoning, 20 years later and Revs still don’t have a home field.
        2- DC, see 1.
        Analogy intact.

        They might not play in the same league, but they beat njrb last year? Call it what you will.

        You are definitely the worst Dan in history – you still claiming to be a Cosmos fan but have nothing to say but to criticize?

        • DivinityHope

          NYRB was missing 7-8 players. The Cosmos beat NYRB second team, playing on a turf pitch.

          • NYCSPORTSPUNK

            The Cosmos were missing Senna & a few other starters as well, so gimme a break with that nonsense. Come to play or don’t come to play at all. That’s the difference between a club who aim at competition & another that aims to sell it’s soda cans.

            • DivinityHope

              If the Cosmos cared about competition, they wouldnt be playing in a Semi-Pro league. Check the definition of Semi Pro, that is what the NASL is. Its said the Cosmos “brand”, is now used to sell jerseys, rather than playing at the highest level.

              • DivinityHope

                If the Cosmos cared about competition, they wouldnt be playing in a Semi-Pro league. Check the definition of Semi Pro, that is what the NASL is. Its sad the Cosmos “brand”, is now used to sell jerseys, rather than playing at the highest level.

          • Joey

            What does the pitch have to do with anything? They both had to play on the same pitch. You sound silly for making such an argument. As for players missing, the Red Bulls may have been missing their prime players, but the Cosmos were also without three key starters, as Senna and Diaz were injured and Roversio wasn’t fit to start. All that said, the Cosmos dominated that game from start to finish.

            • NYCSPORTSPUNK

              exactly, these Red Bull fans with their academy & all the money they have invested can’t beat NASL side & got their asses whopped & they make excuses, **** that ! I just hope we get the chance to whoop that ass in RB arena one day or throw a beat down between the 1st & 3rd base bag at Yankee Stadium.

              • DivinityHope

                Pitch makes alot od difference,especially when playing on bad carpet. Its a big difference in Missing Henry, Cahill….ex, then missing senior citizens & players that couldnt make it in MLS. Again the Cosmos played on a plastic pitch, similar to Costa Rican teams, they used it their advantage. While also having playing a NYRB second team.

                • Guy Blades

                  “Divinity Hope” is a great stage name! How long have you been performing in drag?

                  Derrick and I were just discussing how many members of the LBGTQGF Community are soccer fans but keep quiet about it because they don’t want to be ostracized by either group!

                  Good for you!

                  Swing out, sister!

      • OpenCupFan

        Forgot attendance – sorry.

        Those numbers have been mentioned so many times you can find them all over the place. So go do some research for yourself – might be a nice change to know what you’re talking about for a change.

  • WSW

    Attendance doesn’t matter in NASL we don’t have single-enity, our teams don’t fold or relocate based on attendance like with Chivas USA and that’s why fans of MLS are held hostage because if their team sucks, they have to go to games because Garber will fold team.

  • Chepe pedos

    So Manchester city USA attendance went from 43,000 to 25 ,000 ….wow …. That’s a horrible team

    • DanGerman

      Yep so terrible that fans stay away to the tune of 20k per game while fans are flocking to the cosmos to the tune of 5k per game. I especially love the Cosmos marketing plan which is to get that foreign money especially that central American and Caribbean pesos then exchanging them for American dollars, I mean they’re raking in!

      • Larry’s A Simpleton

        3000 today vs edmonton, but yeah lets keep pretending the f.cosmos are some how relevant to the ny sports scene. 3 freakin’ thousand. what a joke. maybe they should move the team to sweden, becaue all that worldwide recognition aint doing **** out there in nassau county.

        • WSW

          Ain’t no derby like a derby between teams created by companies as brand extensions. #ElPlastico

          • DanGerman

            Why don’t you tune in WSW and see what a packed house looks like. In all honesty its disappointing all the Cosmos can get on a gorgeous day in 3k, but when you don’t market to the locals no one goes to games.

            • WSW

              because world football is laughing..MLS is so insecure they brag about attendance compared to lower divisions…don’t worry our teams won’t fold when the **** hits the fan.

          • Larry’s A Simpleton

            why wont you comment on 3000 at nassau county this afternoon?
            #cosmoselworthlesssoontobeoutofbusiness

            • WSW

              I will comment…at least Cosmos get the money from those 3K fans…do you know where NYCFC and RedBulls attendance money goes to….SUM.

              • Larry’s A Simpleton

                thats all you got? i think the cosmos made more money selling blackout jerseys than ticket sales. somewhere eric cantona is laughing his ass off

                • WSW

                  truth hurts…that’s like saying Chelsea fans are laughing at Milwall..look at your attendance it’s so low…I swear MLS fans are retards.

                  • Larry’s A Simpleton

                    so says the a-hole who got booted off a **** web page like big soccer. boo hoo hoo. poor wsw is just another nasl–f.cosmos fanboy skull fucked by the reality of it all. maybe if stover and obrien look down the basement they can find some of that leftover blackout collection crap cosmos.2 was selling. im sure theres a big market for that crap in havana and stockholm.

                    #lol3000anddropping

  • WSW

    fickle market but i don’t understand the obsession with attendance…lower divisions survive all over the world, MLS are the ones who keep fans hostage when teams suck and owners won’t sell and guess what…. if you don’t go…MLS teams will end up like Chivas USA.

    • Larry’s A Simpleton

      lower division???? since when??? all you fanboys is preach how the nasl is the only true 1st div in the usa. hey wsw, guys like you always need to be talked back from the ledge, why dont you take a huge step forward instead.

  • WSW

    I feel sorry for all you mickey mouse brain washed motherfuckers, who actually believe that Man City wanted a separate entity in MLS.

    Can’t fucking win CCL in like 8 years in a row…dominated by Mexico.

  • Larry’s A Simpleton

    lol. like all delusional fanboys all you can come up with is useless ****. boo hoo fucking hoo. have a nice night *******! I’m going to watch a match between two teams that actually pique the interest on sports fans in nyc! but hey, the cosmos are big in china!

  • WSW

    I’m not even a Cosmos fan just telling like it is…I will bet anyone that Cosmos will get a stadium before MancityNYC.

  • WSW
  • WSW

    Question is would you rather be a FC Salzburg reserves fan or a Man City reserves fan or a Cosmos fan?

    • Larry’s A Simpleton

      Well the fact the f.cosmos are getting 3000 in attendance even with their BOGO giveaway tells you all you need to know. Nobody in nyc gives a **** about the cosmos or the nasl.

      • WSW

        Attendance is not a statistic, more people go to see pop bands than Metallica does it make them better no, it’s the product on the field and if you would actually listen to fans the whole single-entity and DP crap will blow up in MLS, not even talking about owners who don’t give a **** about team.

  • Tommy Blaney

    Cosmos away support when they play Hartford FC will be huge…but not as huge as the tv contract NASL will ink after adding such a high profile city.

  • You coming out for Hartford Tommy?

  • Tommy Blaney

    It would be fun to go to a Hartford game. I’ll show up in NYCFC gear.

    • Smith

      NYCFC may have a 2nd win by then.

      • Tommy Blaney

        All we do is win. Hottest team in MLS! We’re from the big city and you’re from the country. How do you get to a Cosmos game? Go past the cows and take a left at the chickens.

        • Harry Harrison

          You’re a colony for the motherland and a home for geriatrics and you lost to the Cosmos in the Open Cup. In addition, your fans are hipster Johnny Come Latelies and your fan club leader lives in Milwaukee. You won a couple of games, but you still suck and don’t ever forget it.

          Red Bulls are terrible and will still beat you Sunday.

          • Tommy Blaney

            99 out of 100 think the us open is golf or tennis. if no one saw the game – it didn’t count.

            • Harry Harrison

              I know 11k people who saw it

              50k will see the Sheik’s minions lose Sunday

  • Tommy Blaney

    New York has more profit off that one win than Metro ever had in all it’s years of play. Energy Drink New Jersey is still struggling to break even with 12K a game. Ohh and who am I forgetting? Ohh right – the Cosmos. I’ll keep my eye out for that press release on ESPN plopping down $70 million for the rights to Fort Lauderdale vs. Jacksonville and Carolina vs. Ottawa.

    • Smith

      I look forward to the tiny crowds you will be drawing three years from now when you are still playing at Yankee Stadium and winning one of 10 games. You root for a very bad team, my friend. They are terrible.

  • The Sheik

    I do not understand all the dissent on these boards. Where I come from, there is no dissent. We kill all dissenters AND anyone who may be a dissenter. It’s that simple. Now root for NYCFC or else.

  • Tony Geinzer

    I think 2011 Cosmos Revival Brass is angling for Belmont, at the expense of Horse Racing in America, and what the Cosmos has tried and succeeded in is marginalizing the Red Bulls Existance to nothing. If knowing what we knew last Summer when Brazil and Spain was upset massively in the World Cup, that was not an outlier and if FIFA’s Problems lit MLS, which spends like a 1st, but, their play has been fishy and the NASL is not that better off, and La Liga and The Premiership would lose Summer Football if FIFA’s issues are reconferenced as systemathic.

    • slowleftarm

      Huh?

      RBNY’s existence is nothing but their attendance is three times higher this season?

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