On Thursday, the New York Cosmos confirmed that Real Madrid legend Raul Gonzalez Blanco would be joining the club in a playing capacity, as well as helping to develop the club's new academy. Because the prospect of Raul in the beautiful green shirt of the Cosmos is exciting for quite a few fans, the club has decided to put Raul shirts on sale immediately, even if the player won't set foot on the pitch (in uniform) until next spring.
The fact that the club is already selling Raul shirts erases some speculation though, namely into what squad number he'll be assigned. The Spanish born striker will grace the number 7 shirt in his time with the club.
The number 7 shirt was worn by quite a few players during the Cosmos first spell of existence. Vincenzo D'Amico wore the shirt during the club's exhibition games in 1985, while all of Giuseppe Damiani, Julio Cesar Romero, Dennis Teuart, Tony Field, Julio Correa, Harold Jarman, Michael Niblock, Cinesinho, and Jamie Delgado wore it for a spell in those early years.
Since the club played Fort Lauderdale to start the 2013 fall season, that number has belonged to Ayoze, who has settled in nicely as one of the best left backs in the league. As the Spaniard's number has already been given away for next season, it makes you wonder whether or not the player will be returning for a third season in 2015.
The question of Ayoze will certainly be addressed going forward, but for now, it's nice to see the number 7 shirt being filled by an all time great. Welcome to New York, Raul.