Sunday, July 15, 2012
NEW YORK (July 12, 2012) ̶ The North American Soccer League (NASL) today announced that the New York Cosmos have joined the NASL and will begin league play in the 2013 season. The NASL Board of Governors unanimously approved the Cosmos’ membership during its meetings this week in New York.
It’s been nearly 30 years since the Cosmos, an iconic global soccer brand, have played in a professional league. Yet throughout the absence from the pitch, the franchise has maintained a loyal and dedicated fan following. The team expects to announce more details about its stadium, ticket sales, soccer operations staff and players in the near future.
Over two days of meetings, that concluded today, the NASL Board of Governors also addressed a variety of league matters, including hearing presentations from a record number of potential expansion team owners and discussing possible changes to the league’s competition structure for upcoming seasons.
The Cosmos ownership group New York Cosmos LLC is an international partnership led by industry veteran Seamus O’Brien. They are committed to putting the brand back at the forefront of North American soccer. The New York Cosmos began play in 1971, spending fourteen seasons in the earlier NASL, winning five Soccer Bowl trophies and bringing some of the biggest names in world soccer history to North America. The Cosmos last won the NASL Soccer Bowl in 1982.
"We are extremely proud to welcome the New York Cosmos to the North American Soccer League," said NASL Commissioner David Downs. "As we continue to expand the league and help grow professional soccer in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean, the Cosmos brand and their strong ownership group are a perfect fit with us. The history of the Cosmos and soccer in the New York City area are intertwined. Bringing the Cosmos into the NASL is a logical next step as we embrace the heritage of our own past and now reunite the Cosmos, Strikers, Rowdies and several markets with ties to the NASL’s early days. Most importantly, we look forward to the Cosmos enhancing the quality of our league both on and off the field.”
Seamus O’Brien, Chairman of the New York Cosmos, said, “We are delighted to return to our historic home with the NASL and bring the New York Cosmos back to the playing field. We are committed to running the franchise with the highest possible standards on and off the field, and look forward to putting together a competitive and entertaining team our fans can be proud of.”
Aaron Davidson, the Chairman of the NASL Board of Governors, stated, “The team owners are thrilled to welcome the Cosmos back to their birthplace and home, the NASL. The Cosmos ownership group’s decision to join the NASL is the ultimate validation of our efforts to bring back the league which laid the foundation for soccer in North America. We look forward to respectfully honoring the legacy of the NASL and Cosmos of the 1970’s – 1980’s as we grow today’s NASL and play our role in driving the further development and maturation of soccer in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.”
The North American Soccer League (NASL) today announced that Ottawa, Ontario has been awarded an expansion franchise. The new team will be owned by the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) and play home games at Lansdowne Park. The franchise will commence League play upon the completion of a major stadium reconstruction project which is expected to commence later this year. The North American Soccer League is a Division II men's outdoor professional soccer league with teams based in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
"We welcome Ottawa to the NASL," said League Commissioner David Downs. "As we continue to expand and collectively grow professional soccer in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean, Ottawa is a natural market with a vibrant business community, large soccer fan base and an exceptional ownership group."
OSEG partner John Pugh, who is also the CEO and Owner of the Ottawa Fury Soccer Club, has been named President of the new NASL franchise. Pugh says he's committed to building a successful team on and off the field: "This will be, by far, the highest calibre of soccer we'll have seen in Ottawa since the 2007 FIFA Men's U-20 World Cup," said Pugh. "We are committed to fielding a competitive team from the get-go, providing a lively, entertaining game day experience for families and establishing strong ties with all soccer players and fans across the region. It's a privilege to have this opportunity."
Ottawa's new 24,000 seat soccer-friendly downtown stadium will be built to exact FIFA specifications. The City of Ottawa and OSEG are partners in the project and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson says it's an exciting time for the entire city: "Residents are excited about NASL soccer, our bid for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, CFL football and other events that will take place in Ottawa thanks to a newly redeveloped Lansdowne Park," said Mayor Watson. "With 65,000 registered players in our region playing the world's game, it's high time Ottawa had a professional soccer team and a world-class stadium."
OSEG is offering Ottawa soccer fans an opportunity to reserve the right to purchase season tickets for their NASL team before they become available to the public at large. A limited number of priority reservation numbers (PRNs) are now available for a fully-refundable $25 deposit or free for current season ticket holders for the Ottawa Fury and Ottawa 67's and PRN holders for Ottawa's new CFL football franchise