Thirteen New York Soccer Stories to follow for 2013

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COSMOS NASL DEBUT

Later this year, the New York Cosmos are expected to take part in the Fall NASL Championship. If all goes according to plan, a busy winter and summer transfer window will secure the players they seek to compete.

Recent history has indicated the lower echelons of the American Soccer pyramid can be a bit unstable at times. In fact, the NASL is down to all of 6 teams for their Spring Championship as the Cosmos assemble for September and the Puerto Rico Islanders go on hiatus until next year. Just getting to the season may be an adventure in and of itself!

Nevertheless, it remains likely that the Cosmos will field their first professional side since 1984.

COSMOS SIGNINGS

CosmosLogoThe hiring of Erik Stover, Giovanni Savarese and Carlos Mendes rang a warning shot across the Passaic; the New York Cosmos are coming back – and they are bringing some familiar faces with them.

Will the provocative formation of the former storied franchise continue? Who will be the next Cosmos to dawn the green kit? And will more former Red Bulls find a home in Hofstra for the 2013 Fall Championship? If recent history is any indication, that may be a resounding yes.

Some of those questions will be answered in short time. Stover has already indicated that 10-12 players could be signed on in this transfer window alone.

There may be a few headlines made before you can finish saying Happy New Year!

THE RED BULLS AND USOC100

lamarhuntusopencupLet’s face it; the U.S. Open Cup may be on the upswing on the West Coast, but the New York Red Bulls have utterly failed to make it an important tournament on the East. From their self imposed exile in 2011 to last year’s colossal ouster, New York simply has not been able to get out of their own way for the club competition.

This year, like 2011, the Red Bulls will be left thin thanks to international play. With the eyes of the nation on the 100th edition of the tournament, will New York finally step up and make a legitimate run?

INTERNATIONAL PLAY

World Cup Qualifiers and the CONCACAF Gold Cup will crowd the American International calendar this year. How does this effect New York? Well, in one of two ways.

For starters, all these competitions increase the opportunity for New York area fans to catch international action in their own backyard. Both Metlife Stadium and Red Bull Arena hosted competitions during the 2011 tournament.

Second and perhaps more intriguing will be the international call-ups. With a pair of fronts to compete in, the U.S. National team will likely dig a bit deeper into their depth pool to offer opportunities to seldom used talents. Can that mean a call up for Dax McCarty? Maybe Heath Pearce or Kenny Cooper get a nod?

2011 meant a lot of juggling for

POTENTIAL OWNERSHIP GROUPS

The New York Cosmos have long made their intentions known; they want to be at the top echelon of American soccer. Recently, big money Manchester City have reportedly shown interest in owning the 20th franchise. A group including New York Jets great Curtis Martin and former CONCACAF big wig Chuck Blazer is said to be in play.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber and league officials have indicated other groups are interested in owning a league franchise. But who? 2013 will surely reveal some new players … or crown the on suitor meant for this endeavor.

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images for New York Red Bulls

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images for New York Red Bulls

THIERRY HENRY’s SWAN SONG

Two and a half years ago, the Red Bulls rocked the American landscape with the biggest MLS signing since David Beckham.

Today marks the beginning of the end. This will be the final year of Thierry Henry’s current contract.

What will it mean for his legacy? What will it mean to New York? Will they finally be able to add a trophy to their mantle or will Henry leave as so many others have over the years; defeated by the Curse of Caricola?

The spotlight is always on Henry. This year, it will be just a bit more glaring.

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