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He played for the Cosmos?

The Cosmos have a rich history of star players suiting up for the club. There are quite a few that most didn't know about.

Lennart Preiss

As football fans, we've been accustomed to seeing great players with the Cosmos, Pele, the original Becks, Alberto, Chingalia, and Shep Messing. The original Becks isn't like the new Becks, because he doesn't have media behind him, and the fans calling him dreamy, but he was one of the best middies of his time. This Becks was the amazing German, Franz Beckenbauer, Most of these players came over because they were either out of contract, or looking forward to making more money, or were just bored with their life. The Cosmos were always that team, that could help get players to other places. George Best never played for the Cosmos despite them allegedly making somewhat of an attempt.

The Cosmos would play many European teams, and because of the time period, a lot of the records are lost. The first recorded guest player for the Cosmos is John Coyne in 1975, he was a forward who had played for Toronto Metros-Croatia, the year before. He would take the European tour with the Cosmos, and play for the Hartford Bicentennials the next season.

Then in 1976, after bringing in for the season Chingalia to play alongside Pele, the club went on another tour, and some stars turned out for their tour of Europe. This time, Goalkeepers Gordon Banks, Ken Cooper, and forward Clyde Best. Gordon Banks was England's starting goalkeeper, before he had the car accident, and was now looking for playing time. He turned into playing at the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, and Goalie of the Year. Ken Cooper, became a goalkeeper in Dallas for a long time, and is best known actually for being Kenny Cooper's, a MLS veteran, father. Clyde Best, well known in Tampa for his time with the Rowdies, played with Portland Timbers becoming a legend afterwards.

In all of these tours there was one player who came to play with the Cosmos who actually never played for the NASL, that was Brazilian Legend Rivelinho. He played in the 1978 exhibition tour, scoring a goal, before singing with Al Hilal. Rivelinho was a teammate of Pele's in the great Brazilian sides between 1966-78, garnering 92 caps. What a singing he could have been, but maybe Pele warned him about playing with Giorgio.

Of course in all of this the most famous player to suit up for an exhibition for the Cosmos, is the greatest midfielder of his generation, Johan Cruyff. Imagine if he had signed and played with Giorgio? They did get a Dutch midfielder though, in Johan Neeskens. Johan did end up playing in the league for many years, first for Elton John's LA Aztec's, and then the reboot of the Washington franchise, the Diplomats. You see a some pictures out there of the Johan Cruyff jersey, but there isn't a replica. Yet.

One of the many great things about the Cosmos, and one of them is the stars they could get to show up. Most of that was the people who could get press passes for the sidelines for the matches. The other times it was the great players they could get to turnout for the games. Sometimes these great players signed, sometimes they moved on. Either way, the Cosmos name was massive in the day.