Mineola, NY – The New York Cosmos presented Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano and New York State Senator Jack Martins with the 2013 North American Soccer League (NASL) Championship Trophy at a press conference earlier today in Mineola.
The team –which practices at Nassau’s Mitchel Field – made a comeback just this year after not playing in a professional league for decades.
Martins also announced his and the majority of the Elmont community’s, vision to have a privately-financed soccer stadium built by and for the Cosmos, at Belmont Race Track – creating more of a sports entertainment district and economic boom there. The vision also includes a possible LIRR station on site at Belmont.
The trophy presentation was made by New York Cosmos Chief Operating Officer Erik Stover; Cosmos Head Coach Giovanni Savarese; and the entire New York Cosmos team, including Captain Carlos Mendes and Midfielder Marcos Senna. “We are so proud of the Cosmos team here in Nassau County,” Mangano said.
The New York Cosmos began play in 1971, spending 14 seasons in the North American Soccer League, winning five Soccer Bowl trophies and bringing some of the biggest names in world soccer to the USA. This included Pelé, Franz Beckenbauer, Giorgio Chinaglia and Carlos Alberto.
It had been nearly 30 years since the Cosmos, an iconic global soccer club, played in a professional league. Yet throughout their absence, the club maintained a loyal and dedicated fan following.
On June 6th, 2013, Nassau County Executive Mangano officially opened the New York Cosmos new practice facility at Mitchel Field. This official opening marked County Executive Mangano’s third successful public-private partnership for the County’s park system.
On August 3, 2013, the New York Cosmos returned to the NASL with a sell-out win at Hofstra University’s Shuart Stadium, before embarking on a season that would see the Cosmos win the 2013 North American Soccer League Fall Season. The club closed out its inaugural season by winning the 2013 Soccer Bowl with a 1-0 victory against the Atlanta Silverbacks on Nov. 9, 2013 at Atlanta Silverbacks Park, Atlanta, GA. The championship is the sixth NASL title in the club’s history.
“These players practice at Mitchell field, they play at Hofstra, they live in our communities, “They are us.” Martins said. “A private-financed stadium is a win-win. We could take advantage of the synergy here in Nassau County; it would be an investment in the Elmont community, where jobs would be created. Let’s work together to do this.”
Martins said RFPs for a stadium went out in Jan 2013 and have been under review.
New York Cosmos Chief Operating Officer Erik Stover thanked Mangano and Martins and said the team never could have done as well without their support. “We wanted to make a comeback, they stepped in and helped us,” Stover said. “I really think we’re onto something special here.”
Cosmos Head Coach Giovanni Savarese, who had played at Mitchel Field previously as a member of the Rough Riders, echoed Stover’s sentiments and recognized team captain Carlos Mendes and midfielder Marcos Senna.
“It’s our goal to make a tremendous impact on soccer in this area again,” he said.