Official: New York Cosmos to play Cuban National Team in Havana


NEW YORK – The New York Cosmos are set to make history.

Holding court in the heart of Manhattan, the club officially announced their match against the Cuban National Team in Havana, becoming the first professional sports team to visit the nation in the post-embargo era.

“I for one will be the first to admit that our announcement today was certainly not in the original script,” said Cosmos Chairman Seamus O’Brien.  “But then again, as we have always said, this is the New York Cosmos. Learn to dream, dream big, and expect the unexpected.

“For many around the world, New York is America’s truly global city, at the heart of many people’s dreams and aspirations. So too as a team, we have always had the tradition of leading the global ambitions for soccer in the United States.”

Those ambitions will bring them to the shores of Cuba on June 2nd, becoming the first American professional team to play there since 1999. Major League Baseball’s Baltimore Orioles took on the Cuban National Team that year in a two-match series, which was split a win a piece.

This time, the Cosmos come to give Cuba opposition in preparation for the island nation’s Gold Cup run.

“When the representatives from NASL and CONCACAF put us together, to be able to meet in January with the delegation from Cuba in Jamaica, I had the chance to come to the president of the Cuban national federation. I said we would like to play a match against you, some time before the Gold Cup. At the beginning, he said okay, let’s talk about it. Where are you coming from? I said New York, and we are the New York Cosmos,” head coach Giovanni Savarese began.  “His eyes opened up, and he said ‘we would love to play with the New York Cosmos. We would love to have you here.’

“For us, it will be a great match to bring people together, to be competitive, and hopefully it can help as well for you to have a good Gold Cup, because at the end of the day you need to prepare your team for that. ”

The endeavor falls in line with the Cosmos past approach and current ambitions.  Deploying a “global strategy” to harvest the club’s brand power overseas, New York has spent the winter cultivating new markets to feed the home product. From Hong Kong to El Salvador and California, the club has traveled in an unorthodox run of exhibition matches in preparation for the new season — falling in line with the club’s historic roots.

Cuba is a moment that transcends sport, offering the Cosmos an opportunity to add to the club’s already storied history — while making American history to do it.

“The most important thing is soccer,” Savarese said. “We are going there to compete. We have a bye week and what a way to fill it. We are going to produce a good quality team and we hope it’ll be a good show of soccer, and will prepare the Cuban team for what they are going to encounter after.”


Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c12/h02/mnt/211961/domains/ on line 399
  • Elmetrofan

    Gotta love Cosmos originality. Too bad their 2nd tier and their stadium is crap. Once they get a stadium, they’ll have no place but to go up.

    • The Don

      I will crush them with my bare hands!

      • Chepe pedos

        Nooo don noooo.

  • The Cosmos are annoying.

    • Yom

      Stan, we’re talking about the Cosmos here, not you.

      • Chepe pedos


Warning: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c12/h02/mnt/211961/domains/ on line 136