No one really knows what happening with the Cosmos’ ownership situation right now, but the rumor mill has been buzzing. According to Big Apple Soccer, there has been talks of a new ownership group coming in and rebranding the New York Red Bulls as the Cosmos after taking the 2017 season off. Don’t buy your PATH tickets yet, as our pals at Once A Metro discussed how improbable this would really be, and honestly I completely agree with them. But one can’t help but wonder what would happen if it did….
The Cosmos finally have a stadium
If Red Bull GmbH sold the New York Red Bulls, they’d include Red Bull Arena right? Although playing in Jersey would not be ideal for many Cosmos fans, it beats having no stadium. The original Cosmos had history in Jersey, so the MLS Cosmos could make their own there as well.
Cosmos fan base splits in two
I don't pretend to speak for all Cosmos fans, but I'm sure there's a growing split on where the ideal future of the team lies.— Hot Take Louie (@DeltaReaper) December 13, 2016
It's a rumour, but to be clear I would never support an MLS bastardize version of the Cosmos within the current MLS structure.— Pele's Head (@Pele_Head) December 16, 2016
If the Cosmos were join MLS at any point, whether as a third New York franchise or as a rebrand of the Red Bulls, there would be a split in the fanbase. Many see the Cosmos as the case study for why the American soccer needs promotion/relegation. To a big section of the club’s biggest diehards, joining the MLS would be treason. On the other side of the coin, I’d imagine some Red Bulls fans wouldn’t exactly be thrilled to see their colors change as well. One thing that unites both fanbases would be their rivalries with NYCFC. If the Cosmos moved to MLS, the other New York soccer team would have another shot at beating them for the first time.
MLS Cosmos bring in some familiar faces
A marriage between the Cosmos and Red Bulls would be awkward to say the least. If this were to be done right, respect would have to be payed to both club’s histories, both old (old school Cosmos/ MetroStars) and new (Reboot Cosmos/Red Bulls). Something the “new” club could do the win over skeptics on the Cosmos side could do would be to involve someone like Gio Savarese or Carlos Mendes (who played for the Metrostars, Red Bulls and Cosmos) in possibly a coaching capacity. The Cosmos could also make an effort to resign some of their former players like Jimmy Maurer, Ayoze, or Juan Arango to play in the MLS alongside current Red Bulls stars Bradley Wright-Phillips and Sacha Kljestan.
Sign some crazy Designated Players
This is the fun part. I’m sure the Cosmos brand in the American first tier of soccer would turn the heads of many current stars. Who wouldn’t want to not only follow in the footsteps of Pele, but also earn that sweet Designated Player money? Maybe the club signs someone ridiculous like Messi, Ronaldo or Zlatan when their respective current clubs decided not to pay them more. If a superstar is keen and the money is there, I can’t see anything stopping the Cosmos from signing one of these big names. Plus, the MLS seems to bend the rules every time the Galaxy want a new designated player (*cough cough* Gio Dos Santos) , so why wouldn’t they do the same for New York?
If the Cosmos joined the MLS via a Red Bulls rebrand it would definitely be a bizarre time for American soccer. How do you think this would play out Cosmos Country?