Cosmos COO Erik Stover revealed the team will participate in the Fall Championship of the NASL season during Saturday’s Q&A session with the club’s supporters.
“I talked about transparency before,” Stover explained. “I am sharing this with you guys today so we can talk about it and you can ask questions. It didn’t come from a press release or some article we planted in a newspaper.
“I know that is something that will disappoint a lot of you guys, especially since you have been waiting a long time for this finally to be here and it feels like it’s just around the corner,” Stover conceded, “but the simple fact is we, meaning Seamus and the board, when we took over the club, which is only in July, they always said they would need a year to get the club going and that we would be playing in 2013.”
The restructuring of the NASL calendar, which includes two yearly tournaments to be held in the spring and the fall mimicking the fixtures of many South American leagues, allows the Cosmos maneuverability to get their house in order while staying consistent to their message of playing on a professional level in the coming year.
“It is nearly impossible to deliver on our primary objective – which is to be a proper soccer club – in three months,” Stover explained. “We literally don’t have the ability to sell tickets now. It’s not possible. We don’t have a ticket service provider. We don’t have any staff. We have a coach, no players.”
Though he acknowledged the announcement was a let down for many, Stover also warned that the alternative is far worse.
“My biggest fear if we went out there in March is we’d be playing with a rubbish club and with 3,000 people in the stands,” he said. “Nobody wants that. We are very focused on doing everything to the best of our ability at the highest level and we think starting in the fall championship is the way to do that.
“What Seamus (O’Brien) has always promised is when we do something, we do it right. We will have substance before style. I know the Cosmos of a couple years ago, it may have been the other way around but there really wasn’t a team to support. We want to make sure we get this right the first time.”