“This is not the death of the cosmos” – CBS New York

By Peter Schwartz
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The 2016 season certainly brought a spectrum of emotions for the players, coaches, employees and fans of the cosmos.

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Everything worked out very well on the field with the fall season title, top overall seed in the playoffs, as well as the eighth NASL Soccer Bowl title in franchise history and the third in four years since the 2013 franchise restart season.

The Cosmos was also successful in the US Open Cup, winning the Major League Soccer against New York City FC for the second year in a row.

Outside of the field, however, there continued to be questions about the team’s long-term future, particularly its permanent home. While the Cosmos waited four years for a proposal from New York State to build a stadium next to Belmont Park, the Cosmos began their fourth season at Hofstra University’s Shuart Stadium and lost no game there for the entire season.

But this season the relationship between the team and the university seemed to break down. Hofstra would no longer allow Cosmos to host MLS teams due to security issues and bad behavior, especially last year’s game against NYCFC. Then Hofstra did not make the stadium available to the Cosmos for the NASL Championship final, forcing the team to play at the much smaller Belson Stadium in St. John’s.

During the ups and downs of the season, there were other concerns made public by the team’s supporters, including rumors that head coach Giovanni Savarese is leaving for an MLS job and the fact that Cosmos has no information on season tickets for 2017 or where announced the team would play their home games, although it was reported that they were leaning towards MCU Park in Brooklyn.

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That’s if they even field a team next season.

Cosmos Country was turned upside down on Monday. The team reportedly had gone through a number of cost-cutting measures, including vacation days at the front office, payroll delays and the release of some identified players.

According to CEO Seamus O’Brien, the team is waiting to see what happens at NASL league meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday, what path the league is going to take and what the league’s future will be. This has led many reporters and fans to speculate on social media that the cosmos may be completed.

However, a Cosmos source told WFAN.com on Monday that rumors of the team’s death had been grossly exaggerated.

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“Are you going to close the shop and go away?” The source with knowledge of the situation told me. “I think that’s very, very unlikely. That will not happen. After all, this is not the death of the cosmos. It’s not about the cosmos disappearing and disappearing. It’s a case of what the next step is. It’s not another 30 year hiatus. That will not happen. “

Here’s what we know. After the league meetings are over, the 2017 NASL could look very different. In fact, the league could be on the verge of losing Division II status in the US. With Minnesota moving to MLS and Tampa Bay and Ottawa moving to the United Soccer League, NASL now has 11 teams, including the San Francisco Delta expansion set to play next season.

But with Miami FC, Rayo OKC, and the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers with financial difficulties, the NASL could go back to seven or eight clubs. If that were the case, the cosmos could leave too, as I was told they didn’t want to be part of such a small league. The Cosmos also has no plans to follow Tampa Bay and Ottawa to the USL, as the team believes that playing in a Division III league shouldn’t be an option for a club playing in New York.

So here are the options of the cosmos again for 2017, based on the results of this week’s NASL meetings. There was a report on Tuesday morning that the team had ceased operations, but nothing official had come from the cosmos itself.

Aside from an official announcement, the following could still happen:

1. Stay at NASL and hope the league can add some teams in the near future.

2. Reconsider the USL in the event that league gains Division II status in the United States.

3. Join another league or plan to start a new league.

4. Take the 2017 season off and see what options are available for the club in 2018. The Cosmos could also be a touring club that puts together a team to play a series of friendly matches throughout the year.

The bottom line is that on Monday there were many people who began to draw conclusions about the future of the cosmos. We really won’t know what the future holds until the league meetings take place. In fact, the cosmos doesn’t even know what’s ahead of them, but it sure sounds to me like there is still a New York cosmos in some form.

After Wednesday, the future of the cosmos should be a little clearer.

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Don’t forget to follow Pete on Twitter @pschwartzcbsfan. You can also follow @NYCosmos

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