On August 5th the NY Cosmos led by Eric Cantona will play Paul Scholes’s testimonial at Old Trafford.
Cantona, the coach of the Paul Kelmsley owned Cosmos hopes nostalgia will help gain a foothold in the MLS but featuring in the testimonial of a player the stature of Scholes in one of football’s most hallowed ground might translate into something more tangible.
Twenty seven years after the actual NY Cosmos folded the new version founded two years ago founders despite the backing of former talismans like Pele and Giorgio Chinaglia. Part of the problem is that it potentially wants to locate in NYC where real estate is in short supply and constructing stadiums is not just stupendously expensive but runs afoul of a plethora of zoning laws and robust community resistance.
The battle over key demographics is yet another issue. Over the years New Yorkers have pledged allegiance to the NY Red Bulls, a nominal part of the city while actually being square in the bridge and tunnel existence with its home at Harrison, NJ.
The long and short of it is the Cosmos exists in name only without a physical presence. It’s akin to seeing a unicorn, narwhal, or yeti. Take your pick. You’re certified insane or clearly under the influence because the larger rational world clearly believes these are apparitions. You’re obviously part of a Roswell cult or a throwback to the 70’s to find succour in these claims. Which is why it is a big deal having an entity called the Cosmos actually usurp the rest of the world to get to play a testimonial the magnitude of Scholes’s even as they rely on players begged, borrowed, and stolen.
Here is hoping we can get the NY Comsos back on track. Just to get a team so intimately associated with the city’s history will be a huge deal – it will convince all the fence sitters.