A NO-GO: Cosmos says they won’t compete this season because of the pandemic

By Michael Lewis
FrontRowSoccer.com Editor

The cosmos is interrupted.

The National Independent Soccer Association Club announced on Friday morning that it would not compete this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement via Twitter didn’t say when the cosmos would return.

NISA is divided into two seasons: spring and autumn.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the Cosmos statement read:

“Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the New York Cosmos made the difficult decision to stop team operations.

“During this hiatus, the club plans to continue working with the National Independent Soccer Association to promote high quality, performance-based independent football in the United States.

“We thank our fans for their longstanding support and loyalty. They have always been the lifeblood of the Cosmos organization, and the games we played last season weren’t the same without them.

“As we continue to navigate this unprecedented global health crisis, we look forward with optimism and hope to our supporters, our organization and our sport in the United States.”

If you don’t play, a mass exodus of players from the cosmos can begin.

A player has already joined another team when striker Bledi Bardic recently signed with rival New Amsterdam FC, a 2020 NISA expansion team.

Center-back Matt Lewis is playing for the Kansas City Comets in the Major Arena Soccer League for the second year in a row, but he had chosen indoor soccer long before the Cosmos decision. Lewis said he was considering several options, including Detroit City FC, a team he coached and played with last spring.

The Cosmos belongs to Rocco B. Commisso, who bought Fiorentina in the Italian Serie A in 2019. Since then, Commisso has put a lot of energy, time and money into this team.

New York has had its worst season in team history, ending 3: 6 with three competitions in a pandemic-interrupted NISA campaign. Kosmos scored 11 goals and conceded 13.

On September 29, the day after the Cosmos was eliminated from the NISA fall tournament, Chief Operating Officer Erik Stover expressed the club’s dissatisfaction with the team’s performance.

“This has been a very disappointing fall season,” he said. “We didn’t live up to our expectations and the expectations of the fans and we have to make some changes to prepare for the spring season.”

Stover didn’t say what specific changes could be made or talk about the future of head coach Carlos Mendes, who has led the team for the past three years.

The Cosmos has a long history, winning eight NASL titles, three after its restart in 2013. The team, players, coaches and fans expect the highest level of excellence. Anything less than a championship is considered a failure.

Many supporters might consider not participating in a failure as well.

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