A bridge to…
On Monday, the 28th of November, Dave Martinez reported on Empire of Soccer that there was trouble with the New York Cosmos. Early in the season, May or June, I began to suspect that the Cosmos were for sale. It was evident in the way “the club” seemed to have scaled back their operations. No more advertisements, no more marketing. No one trying to sell tickets. Shuart stadium was nearly empty on opening day last April. “They’re selling the team,” I said to my buddy Jose.
Later in the season, after we’d been eliminated from the US Open Cup by New England, a match which the Cosmos had dominated until the last fifteen minutes when two defensive errors led to late New England goals, it seemed that the team’s management had given up. They had counted on advancing in the US Open Cup and when they were eliminated, it was as if that was the last straw for some invisible, silent decision maker — the supplier of money. Now there would be even less money.
“The Cosmos are for sale,” I said to Jose. “Otherwise, why wouldn’t they be working on a stadium deal? Why haven’t they tried to sell me season tickets yet?”
After Dave Martinez’s story on Empire of Soccer, more rumors and speculation began to appear on blogs and on Twitter. I remained skeptical about the negative statements made about “the Cosmos.” Who were these people talking about? The team? The supporters? The ownership? I found myself asking existential questions. “The Cosmos are done,” people tweeted. Really? I’m not done. Am I not the Cosmos? Me and the hundreds of other like me who have followed the team since their return in 2012? What about Gio Savarese and the players? Where they not the Cosmos? What did this ownership group, Sela Sports and Sheamus O’Brien have to do with the Cosmos? Sure, they owned the operation; they paid the bills; they had run up a debt. All in the name of the Cosmos. But Sela Sports and Sheamus O’Brien were not the Cosmos. They want someone else to pay the debt.
“I wish they’d hurry up,” said Jose. “They need to sell quick. This is starting to look bad. Very bad.”
“Starting?” I said.