Lively Tales About Dead Teams

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1971-1985 New York Cosmos

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New York Cosmos YearbookNorth American Soccer League (1971-1984)
Major Indoor Soccer League (1984-1985)

Born: December 10, 1970 – NASL expansion franchise.
Folded: Summer 1985.

Stadiums:

Arenas:

Team Colors:

  • 1974: Green, Yellow & Blue
  • 1977: Green & White

Owners:

  • 1971-1984: Warner Communications (Steve Ross, et al.)
  • 1984-1985: Giorgio Chinaglia, et al.

Soccer Bowl Champions: 1977, 1978, 1980 & 1982

 

Text coming soon…

 

 

New York Cosmos Memorabilia

 

 

New York Cosmos Video

Trailer for Once In A Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos

 

 

In Memoriam

Former Cosmos head coach Hennes Weisweiler, who managed the club from 1980-1982, passed away on July 5, 1983.  He was 63.

Cosmos founder/owner & Warner Communications CEO Steve Ross passed away on December 20, 1992 from prostate cancer at 65.

Julio Mazzei, who helped bring Pele to America in 1975 and later coached the Cosmos in the 1980’s, died on May 10, 2009 at age 78.

Ex-Cosmos player/owner Giorgio Chinaglia, the NASL’s all-time leading scorer, died on April 1, 2012 at age 65.

 

 

==Downloads==

1973 New York Cosmos Season Ticket Brochure

June 1978 New York Cosmos Travel Itinerary – Minnesota

March 25, 1979 Cosmos vs. Estudiantes Tecos Game Program

June 11, 1979 – Cosmos Sign Dutch Star Johan Neeskens Press Release

August 31, 1980 – Pele to Don #10 Again in Beckenbauer Farewell Press Release

1982 New York Cosmos Soccer Bowl Press Kit

November 20, 1983 Cosmos Sign Dan Canter Press Release

 

Links

North American Soccer League Media Guides

North American Soccer League Programs

Major Indoor Soccer League Media Guides

Major Indoor Soccer League Programs

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July 21, 1991 – New York Cosmos 20th Reunion Matches

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1991 New York Cosmos ReunionNew York Cosmos 20th Reunion
July 21, 1991
Cosmos Alumni vs. Club Italia ’82
Cosmos Alumni vs. Brazilian Masters
Giants Stadium
Attendance: 31,871

North American Soccer League Programs
40 pages

 

Nostalgia reigned at the Meadowlands as former New York Cosmos executives and team alumni pulled out all of the stops to celebrate what would have been the defunct club’s 20th anniversary season in July 1991. Pele’s long-time advisor Professor Julio Mazzei, who served a variety of roles for the Cosmos over the years including two stints as Head Coach, organized the doubleheader against the Brazilian Masters old-timers squad and Club Italia ’82, a collection of stars from Italy’s 1982 World Cup triumph.

More than 50 former players travelled in from 14 different countries to play, although the biggest stars weren’t on hand.  Giorgio Chinaglia was absent, Franz Beckenbauer was a last minute scratch due to stomach problems that kept him home in Austria, and Pele limited himself to a wave-to-the-crowd halftime appearance during the second game of the doubleheader.

1991 New York CosmosNevertheless, the Cosmos roster was an impressive reminder of the club’s legacy for the 31,000 plus on hand at Giants Stadium.   The Cosmos squad for the Club Italia ’82 matinee was somewhat lower wattage, as it skewed towards the club’s earlier years.  But the Cosmos’ B-team still featured fan favorites like Angelo DiBernardo, Jeff Durgan, Shep Messing and Werner Roth.  The Italians easily handled the Cosmos alumni 5-0, as legends Paolo Rossi (1 goals, 2 assists) and Alessandro Altobelli (3 goals) rekindled memories of the 1982 World Cup final against West Germany.

Hubert Birkenmeier, Vladislav Bogicevic, Rick Davis, Andranik Eskandarian, Steve Hunt, Johan Neeskens, Seninho and Dennis Tueart took to the pitch to play the Brazilian Masters.  Unlike the matinee, the main event was a well-contested 0-0 draw with the Brazilians.

After the match, several Cosmos stars chatted with Filip Bondy of The New York Times sharing their various theories on the club’s decline and eventual demise in 1984 and 1985.  Former player and coach Gordon Bradley cited the lack of a major television contract.  Carlos Alberto blamed the failure of the United States’ 1986 World Cup bid.  And Bogi blamed the epic collapse of Atari video game sales in the early 1980’s.  Atari was owned by Warner Communications, which also owned the Cosmos.

“If Nintendo starts sooner there would still be a Cosmos,” proclaimed the always quotable Bogicevic.  “Nintendo should have bought us.”

 

==Downloads==

1991 New York Cosmos Reunion Media Guide

July 19, 1991 Press Release: The Cosmos: A Legacy Revisited

July 21, 1991 New York Cosmos 20th Reunion Rosters

July 21, 1991 Cosmos vs. Club Italia ’82 Starting Lineups

July 21, 1991 Cosmos Reunion Doubleheader Official Scorer Reports

Club Italia ’82 Roster & Bios

July 21, 1991 Cosmos vs. Brazilian Masters Starting Lineups

Brazilian Masters Bios

Franz Beckenbauer Regrets

 

==Links==

New York Cosmos Home Page

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Written by AC

September 6th, 2013 at 1:00 pm

August 16, 1983 – Toronto Blizzard vs. New York Cosmos

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Roberto Bettega Toronto BlizzardToronto Blizzard vs. New York Cosmos
August 16, 1983
Exhibition Stadium
Attendance: 11,428

North American Soccer League Programs
16 pages

 

That’s 32-year old Italian striker Roberto Bettega on the cover of this August 1983 Toronto Blizzard match program.  Bettega was perhaps the last legitimate European star to sign with the league, joining Toronto in May 1983.  By that time, the North American Soccer League was on its last legs, halved from 24 members clubs in 1980 to only 12 survivors by the start of the 1983 campaign.

Bettega played fifteen seasons for Juventus (1969-1983), helping his hometown club to seven Serie A titles and the 1977 UEFA Cup.  He also played for Italy in the 1978 World Cup in Argentina.  Just six nights before this match, Bettega’s former teammates traveled to Toronto for a friendly against the Blizzard at Exhibition Stadium.  Juventus brought seven veterans of Italy’s 1982 World Cup championship team to Toronto, including superstar Paolo Rossi.  (Bettega himself missed the 1982 World Cup due to injury).  The match drew 41,035 to Exhibition Stadium – the largest crowd ever to watch a soccer game in Toronto.  The Blizzard held the powerful Italian squad to a surprising 0-0 draw.

 

By contrast, the Blizzard’s return to NASL regular season action six nights later against the New York Cosmos was kind of a buzz kill.  The Cosmos were known for signing the biggest superstars in the world in the late 1970’s and they were accustomed to drawing large crowds wherever they traveled.  But by 1983, the Cosmos were deep into cost-cutting mode and it had been years since they imported a major international superstar.

A modest crowd of 11,428 showed up for a match that New York’s long-time beat writer Ike Kuhns described as “one of the dullest” of the 1983 season.  Toronto had trouble scoring all season and were playing without leading goal scorer David Byrne due to yellow card accumulation.  New York fared little better and the match went into overtime knotted at 0-0, before New York’s Steve Moyers put an apparently merciful end to the proceedings with a sudden death goal.

The notorious artificial turf surface at Exhibition Stadium was as poorly reviewed as the match itself.

“The field is just awful,” Cosmos midfielder Rick Davis told Ike Kuhns afterwards. “I still say the best thing they can do here is put up walls and play squash on it.”*

 

==Downloads==

8-16-1983 Toronto Blizzard Game Notes

8-16-1983 New York Cosmos Game Notes

 

==*Additional Sources==

“Moyers’ OT Goal Boots Cosmos By Blizzard, 1-0”, Ike Kuhns, The Newark Star-Ledger, August 17, 1983.

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Written by AC

May 10th, 2013 at 12:31 pm

July 22, 1984 – New York Cosmos vs. World All-Stars

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New York Cosmos vs. World All-Stars
July 22, 1984
Giants Stadium
Attendance: 37,318

North American Soccer League Programs
8 pages

 

From the 1970’s through their demise in 1985, the New York Cosmos always played a great parallel schedule of international exhibitions alongside their regular commitments in the North American Soccer League.  In fact, even their final forlorn appearances at Giants Stadium in the summer of 1985 were against imported European opponents.

The Cosmos’ vast number of international friendlies pose a challenging quest for collectors, whether it’s the search for rare match programs or bootleg videos.  And we ship them all over the world through our store – this one, a deathbed friendly from July 1984 between the struggling post-Time Warner Cosmos and a collection of  “World All-Stars” – was bought by a collector in Germany today, so I figured I’d write it up before it’s gone.

The Cosmos were built on star power during the Time Warner years, but they’d pretty much run out of stars by 1984.  For the first time since Pele’s arrival in 1975, their lineup was basically indistinguishable from ho-hum NASL clubs like the Minnesota Strikers or the Tulsa Roughnecks.  Franz Beckenbauer and Giorgio Chinaglia had retired the previous year.  Their biggest remaining names were guys like Vladislav Bogicevic of Yugoslavia and Johan Neeskens of Holland (who would score the Cosmos’ only goal of this night, on a penalty).

In fact, the visiting World All-Stars had more Cosmos star power than the Cosmos did.  The All-Stars featured the 38-year old Beckenbauer (who played the full 90) and the Cosmos’ former American phenom Ricky Davis.  The fact that Davis could now make more money playing indoor soccer for the St. Louis Steamers showed how far the outdoor game (and the Cosmos) had slipped in America by the mid-1980’s.  The All-Stars coach was Professor Julio Mazzei, a friend of Pele and Zelig-type figure for the Cosmos, who coached the team intermittently, including leading the club to their final Soccer Bowl title in 1982.

The rest of the World All-Stars?  Well, they were pretty damn legit.  The line-up included:

  • Two-time European Football-of-the-Year Kevin Keegan
  • 1978 Argentine World Cup hero Mario Kempes
  • Former Ajax & Dutch National Team defender Rudi Krol
  • Mexican striker Hugo Sanchez
  • English National Team stalwart goalkeeper Peter Shilton

French legend Michel Platini was pictured in the All-Stars publicity photo (above left), but does not appear to have been part of the game.  The All-Stars dominated the Cosmos 3-1 before a crowd of 37,318, the Cosmos’ second largest of the year at Giants Stadium.

For the rest of the All-Stars & Cosmos’ rosters, download the original Game Notes & Rosters here.

 

==YouTube==

 

==Downloads==

June 1984 New York Cosmos vs. World All-Stars Fan Ballot

July 22, 1984 New York Cosmos vs. World All-Stars Game Notes

1984 New York Cosmos vs. World All-Stars Event Itinerary

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Written by AC

March 14th, 2013 at 1:17 am

April 4, 1982 – New York Cosmos vs. National Team of Peru

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New York Cosmos vs. National Team of Peru
April 4, 1982
Giants Stadium
Attendance: 37,408

North American Soccer League Programs
4 pages

 

This April 1982 international friendly against the National Team of Peru was the New York Cosmos‘ final preseason tune-up before kicking off the 1982 North American Soccer League season five nights later.  It was also the Cosmos’ Giants Stadium debut of 1982, after playing seven exhibition matches at the club’s training camp home in Freeport, Bahamas and in invitational tournaments along the West Coast.

A solid crowd of 37,408 awaited the team in East Rutherford, althoughthe majority seemed to be there to cheer for the Peruvians.  The match was also a tune-up for Peru, one of 24 finalists for the 1982 World Cup later that summer.  Flag-waving Peruvian supporters turned Giants Stadium into “Lima North”, as long-time Cosmos beat writer Ike Kuhns of The Newark Star-Ledger put it in his column the following day.

The extreme chill (34 degrees Fahrenheit with 40 MPH wind gusts) and the artificial turf conspired to frustrate the Peruvians.  The Cosmos got a pair of goals each from Giorgio Chinaglia and Julio Cesar Romero, plus a garbage time goal from Steve Moyers to rout the South Americans 5-1.  (Julio Cesar Uribe converted a first half PK for Peru’s only score).

The game was also unusually chippy for an international friendly.  Three red card ejections meant Peru played the final 20 minutes of the match with a 10 men to 9 advantage.  Johan Neeskens was sent off in the first half after retaliating for Peruvian cheap shot on Romero.  Jeff Durgan and Peru’s Jose Velasquez were tossed for fighting in the 68th minute.

This match also marked the return of former Brazilian World Cup captain Carlos Alberto to Giants Stadium after a one year absence.  One of the world superstars who catapulted the Cosmos to fame in the late 1970’s, Alberto spent the 1981 season in exile, playing to acres of empty seats at Anaheim Stadiumfor the NASL’s woeful California Surf club.  He returned to New York in after the Surf disbanded and finished his distinguished career with the Cosmos that summer of 1982.

The match was reportedly broadcast throughout South America and the Cosmos chose to feature three South Americans in their starting XI: Alberto of Brazil, Romero of Paraguay and Chico Borja of Ecuador.

 

==Downloads==

1982 New York Cosmos vs. National Team of Peru Game Notes

 

==Links==

More NASL International Friendlies

 

==Additional Sources==

“Tempers Erupt, Three Ejected as Cosmos Throttle Peru, 5-1”, Ike Kuhns, The Newark-Star Ledger, April 5, 1982

“Cosmos Defeat Peru in Rough Game, 5-1”, Alex Yannis, The New York Times, April 5, 1982

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