What we’re watching: New York City’s World Cup, the Cosmos Copa

Not too long ago we found the trailer for this, but now the short documentary is here for all to see. To refresh your memory, this is what the Cosmos Copa is all about: “Every year, 36 ‘national teams’, comprised of the diverse communities that make up New York City, come together to play in a World Cup tournament called Cosmos Copa. Organized by the New York Cosmos and heralded as a one-of-a-kind event that showcases the best of NYC, this grassroots tournament attracts a huge following in a spectacular setting.” 

There’s nothing like seeing this event and all its associated characters and talent firsthand, but this doc does a great job conveying just how much The Big Apple loves the beautiful game. [Posted by Eric]

New York City’s World Cup: Cosmos Copa

Every year, 36 ‘national teams’, comprised of the diverse communities that make up New York City, come together to play in a World Cup tournament called Cosmos Copa. Organized by the New York Cosmos and heralded as a one-of-a-kind event that showcases the best of NYC, this grassroots tournament attracts a huge following in a spectacular setting.

We’ve seen the tournament first hand, and there really is nothing like watching the fittest eleven men in New York City’s Japanese community go toe-to-toe with New York’s Colombian brothers. There are also few events in the States world able to provide so much cultural diversity while maintaining the peace and a common goal. The film capturing America’s coolest amateur tournament drops next week, and if the the trailer above is anything to go by, we’ll have our popcorn/tapas/Peroni/empanadas/Pão de queijo ready. [Info on Cosmos Copa. Posted by Eric. Spotted at TOR]

Meanwhile in New York, the Cosmos make $400m plans

It’s no secret that the revamped New York Cosmos are hoping to make a splash as they return to professional soccer in the North American Soccer League (NASL) this August. It’s no secret that Major League Soccer wants its 20th team to be in Queens.

Today, the Cosmos launched a microsite with full details about their plan to privately fund a new 25k seat stadium in Belmont Park, almost on the border of Queens and Long Island. The proposed stadium hoping to open in 2016 is designed by Populous, the firm behind projects like the Emirates, Wembley, and the London 2012 Olympic Stadium. Questions are being raised as to whether or not the New York City area could even support 3 clubs, but before we get to 3 we need to get to 2. A fair share of drama lies ahead between the Cosmos and MLS, as does plenty of entertainment, but it’s reasonable to say that this could be an extravagant, exciting leap forward.

We’re only scratching the surface, so for more information here’s…

What’s your reaction? Full support, skepticism, or thinking this is general step forward for the sport in the States?

Giorgio Chinaglia, Rest in Peace. (1947-2012)

He was a legend for the New York Cosmos. He was a legend for Lazio. But beyond his brilliance as a player, few could match his personality and aura on and off the pitch.

  • Chinaglia was the NASL’s all-time leading scorer (193 goals, 213 games).
  • Chinaglia won four NASL titles with the Cosmos, joining the team in 1976 and retiring in 1983.
  • With his native Italy, Giorgio featured in the 1974 World Cup, and also spent 1969 to 1976 with Lazio, scoring 98 goals in 209 appearances.

But stats only can tell us so much about who Giorgio was as a man and a player. He scored some truly unbelievable goals in his career, and gained many friends off the pitch as he became a soccer analyst later in life. Italians and New Yorker adored Chinaglia, and it’s not difficult to see why.

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Deulofeu y las Flores Azules - AFR Podcast Ep12 iTunes / Soundcloud / RSS

Brazil legend Carlos Alberto leads us into the latest podcast saying hello to his “friends from A Football Report.” Dominic Vieira and Eric Beard are the duo holding it down on the pod this time chatting from Lancaster University in England and Boston, respectively. We converse about Arsenal’s hope to take yet another starlet from La Masia, 17-year-old Gerard Deulofeu (who Eric confuses with Barça-based band Delafe y las flores azules), and use our moral compasses to discuss who’s in the right and who’s in the wrong. After that we proceed to talk about Samir Nasri coward-like contemplations and the strength of Valencia and Villarreal. We also cover the UEFA U21 Championship and the CONCACAF Gold, and finish with our ideal players for the New York Cosmos to choose to play in Paul Scholes’ testimonial match.

Fairytale in New York: On superstars, movie stars, Cosmos, and uniting for a good cause

By Tom Goulding, writing from New York City

On a dark and wet day in Manhattan, stars of American soccer gathered on the football fields of Greenwich Village for the Tribeca Film & Soccer Festival. With the upcoming rise of the New York Cosmos the running theme of the day (Cosmos kits, Cosmos signs), the festival consisted of a series of soccer exhibitions and charity tournaments, culminating in a celebrity match to end the day.

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A Cosmic Rebirth

By Saheli RC, writing from Singapore

In ancient mythology, a phoenix was a sacred firebird, with colourful plumage and a glorious golden tail, which ignited and turned itself into ashes at the end of its lifespan. From that ash, a new, young phoenix was reborn anew, and was destined to live as long as its former self. Or so the legend went. Hopping onto your Tardis and fast forwarding a couple of centuries, you arrive to the 1970s. This period was, as the youngsters like to say these days, a very ‘happening’ time as the Cold War raged on in full scale across the world, while people were feeling the first effects of a global oil crisis. Onto more athletic grounds, Margaret Court was winning every tennis Grand Slam in a calendar year and the dynamic duo of Renus Michels and Johan Cruyff were teaching the world how to play beautiful football. Yes, happening alright.

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Reviving the New York Cosmos: a paradoxical dream?

By Eric Beard, writing from Boston

The New York Cosmos, a club that was dominant in the North American Soccer League (NASL) with stars such as Pelé, Carlos Alberto, Franz Beckenbauer, and Giorgio Chinaglia, but stopped functioning operations in the mid-1980s, has officially been revived. However, the club won’t be making a comeback in Major League Soccer just yet, but rather a group led by the English businessman Paul Kemsley, with Pelé as honorary president, has acquired the club’s name and on Sunday announced its relaunch at halftime of the final of Copa NYC at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

“Our plan has several phases, but if you fast-forward, it’s our aspiration to play at the highest level in this country, and that’s MLS, ” said Joe Fraga, the executive director of the new New York Cosmos. “And we are serious. We want to make it relevant again; we want kids to know what the Cosmos were and are, to bring the soccer dream back to the city. Pelé is our face, and you couldn’t do better than that, not just for the Cosmos, but for soccer in general. Our goal is to respect history and the legacy, and make it relevant now.”

The New York Cosmos were the best team in America back in the day, but they were also a reason why the league as a whole was not sustainable. This appeals to the perhaps shrouded idea that the Cosmos have become a franchise as idolized as it is despised. So as glamorous as the legacy of the New York Cosmos is, there is every reason why an American soccer supporter will want to be wary of the legacy and the ideals of the Cosmos organization.

Of course, this provides a paradox for true football fans. The New York Cosmos valued the best brand of football at all costs, but that mindset, in itself, could very well destroy the game’s steadily growing popularity in the United States. Football in America is still very much in a precarious state, so how can the New York Cosmos ensure that they benefit Major League Soccer without destroying it in the process?

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It may be Cinco de Mayo, but it’s all about 4th place today Why Tottenham must defeat sport’s newest evil empire

By Eric Beard

As I take a study break from my Macroeconomics final to write this, everything I am retaining from Joseph Stiglitz and Greg Mankiw’s textbooks tell me that I should be cheering on Spurs today as Harry Redknapp’s squad prepares for its season-defining game at Eastlands to take on Manchester City. Still, I can’t help but love Roberto Mancini and that scarf. Oh that scarf.

Anyway, if anyone read my piece as to why the Bundesliga is a better, more financially sound league than the Premier League, then you know why Manchester City qualifying for the Champions League is bad for English football.

If you didn’t read it, well the gist is that no team in any league around the world should ever splash cash like Manchester City plan to do. Because once Manchester City become powers in the Premier League, all other teams will try to keep up to stay competitive. The thing is, when clubs try to keep pace with City in terms of player salaries, transfer fees, state of the art facilities, etc… that is when some of England’s best clubs will be forced into financial ruin. While I know that if City qualify then they may attract stars such as Kaka, David Villa, Ibrahimovic, and whoever else you can think of that makes far too much money. But at what cost?

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