After a nearly 30-year absence, the Cosmos will return to the North American Soccer League starting in 2013.It may not be MLS, but at least the New York Cosmos are back in a league.
After nearly 30 years, the Cosmos joined the North American Soccer League on Thursday following a failed attempt to become Major League Soccer's newest team. New York will begin league play in 2013.
Pele played for the former Cosmos in the 1970s. He led the team to the 1977 NASL championships in his third and final season, while putting soccer on the map in the United States.
Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber announced in a statement that he's pleased with the move and what it could mean for MLS.
"We welcome the Cosmos' entrance to the NASL," Garber said. "Having a vibrant second division is important to the overall growth and popularity of soccer in North America, and we are pleased to see the NASL add a new franchise.
"Major League Soccer remains committed to securing an expansion team in New York City. The current focus is on exploring a stadium site, but we will continue discussions with several potential ownership groups, including the Cosmos, about the possibility of joining the efforts to bring a second MLS team to New York."The Cosmos ownership group is led by Seamus O'Brien. Details on their stadium and roster will be announced at a later date.