Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
For all the progress made by Major League Soccer since it began in 1996, there is not one team in the league that can match the old New York Cosmos for name recognition – not globally and not in the United States.
But when the new owners of the Cosmos name announced in August that they planned to bring the team back to life and take them into MLS, there was a good deal of scepticism in the American soccer community. Now they have named former Manchester United great Eric Cantona as director of soccer.
Such a cynical reaction was understandable – for years there had been rumours of a return for the Cosmos name, which was owned by Peppe Pinton, an official of the old club, but nothing beyond youth soccer camps ever materialized.
When MLS announced a team in New York, there were attempts to make that team the Cosmos but no deal was ever struck with Pinton, who was reported to be holding out for a big pay-off at a time when MLS was very careful with every dollar.
One of the most appealing aspects of football is that, unlike with most sports, you can find the passion of the game in almost every corner of the world, often hidden away in the most unlikely places.
What separates football from, say Formula One or tennis, is that even at the lower levels of the game you can still get the buzz of being a fan even without the top stars or the fully-serviced facilities.