BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- The wind blew in from the Atlantic Ocean and the sounds of the Coney Island Boardwalk were audible in MCU Park as the Cosmos battled the Ottawa Fury on Saturday night.
What happened on the field was as intriguing as what the game meant off of it. The Cosmos have waited patiently for the Empire Stated Development Corps to make a decision on their proposed stadium plan at Belmont Park -- a plan they submitted in January of 2013. The Cosmos have remained relatively silent regarding any backup plans they may have if their proposed 25,000 seat stadium next to Belmont Park Race Track is not approved.
So, as much as Saturday's game at MCU Park -- home of the Brooklyn Cyclones baseball team -- was a way to grow the fan base in a new region of New York, it was also seemed like a way to test the waters for other possible stadium locations.
5,279 people attended the Cosmos Weekend match agains Ottawa. They watched as New York came away victorious on a soccer field retrofitted on a baseball diamond. At times it was easy to get the third base foul line and the end line confused, but the experience was certainly an upgrade from their temporary home of Shuart Stadium at Hofstra University.
Brooklyn is one of several locations the Cosmos are looking at as an alternative to Belmont and the borough seems very interested in having the Cosmos return on a full time basis.
"I would love to have a team here in Brooklyn," borough president Eric L. Adams said on Tuesday according to Empire of Soccer. The comments were made at a event promoting the game at MCU Park.
"Soccer has grown over the years," he continued. "Some of the experiments decades ago may have failed because we didn’t have the population. We were smart this time, starting children playing at an early age and they have grown up playing soccer. Soccer is no longer a strange sport only played in foreign lands. It has a domestic appeal."
The borough already has two major league sports teams and several minor league clubs -- including the Cyclones. The Nets have called Brooklyn home since 2012 and the New York Islanders will move to the Barclays Center in the fall for the 2015-16 NHL season.
The Cosmos enjoyed their experience on Saturday night and the atmosphere MCU Park brought.
"I think it was an exciting night to play in Brooklyn in a stadium that was an interesting set up," Cosmos' head coach Gio Savarese said after his team's 2-0 win over Ottawa. "It was a great experience and great energy. We felt great."
Will the the Cosmos trip to MCU Park being a one time thing? For now, there isn't another scheduled game in Brooklyn, but that doesn't mean the coaching staff would mind playing in the venue again. "I wouldn't be opposed to it if happens again to be in this place again," Savarese said.
The need for a their own soccer specific venue is evident and the Cosmos front office will be the ones to make the ultimate decision in the end. Right now, Brooklyn seems like a pretty good candidate.