Hofstra University played an important role in the nascent stages of the original Cosmos team and the present NASL side has kept that tradition. James H. Shuart Stadium will play home to the team’s Fall Championship run.
That is nothing new.
What has been a bit of a mystery is where the team would train in between their home matches. The latest Cosmos acquisition, Hunter Freeman, gave EoS a sneak peak into those plans.
“I think when you look at what the Cosmos have planned as far as where they are playing, Hofstra University already replaced the turf field there to make it a better quality surface and they are totally redoing training fields that are going to be natural grass and have a locker room and stuff like that,” Freeman explained to EoS.
When asked about the arrangements and whether they were a step down from Major League Soccer standards, Freeman gave an interesting take. Drawing back to his time in New York, the Cosmos infrastructure plan does seem to rival and perhaps surpass the conditions he knew with the Red Bulls.
“If you look at that and you look at the Red Bulls’ situation where we trained at Montclair, it can be even better,” he said. “When I was with the Red Bulls, we trained at Montclair State on a field that had 60 different levels in it from one side to the other and we played in Giants Stadium turf.
“I think the only comparison I can make right now, the Cosmos are definitely trying to do it the right way so far and hopefully it will continue.”
The move down to the second tier of the American soccer pyramid does bring with it some trepidation, not only in light of the competition itself, but the infrastructure of other franchises and what road games would offer. Freeman admits his knowledge of the NASL is lacking, but he was quick to point out the leagues achievements including the building of a stadium in San Antonio and the high level of existing facilities like the ones in Atlanta and North Carolina (both of which he played in during friendly competitions).
“There are some good or bad,” he conceded, “but you can say the same in MLS. I think it’s a league that is growing.
“As far as the professionalism of the club, I have been quite impressed. In my head, I said maybe, maybe it would be a step down, but it’s nothing of that. It has been just as good an experience as all the clubs I played with in MLS and hopefully that continues.”
When reached for comment, the Cosmos offered that they were “still exploring various options” in their quest for a training facility.