The news that MLS is looking to complete a deal to make the New York Cosmos come back to life as a fully realized entity in its league is hardly a surprise. The Cosmos news has been the worst-kept secret among the American soccer populace. A walk around the MLS offices on 7th Avenue in Manhattan tells you all you need to know. There are Cosmos memorabilia all over the place. The place is practically a shrine to Brazilian legend Pele, who played three years for the previous incarnation in the mid-70's.
A stadium for the new Cosmos in Flushing Meadows makes sense. The infrastructure is in place to be able to quickly transport the supporters in and out of the area for matches. The stadium could be used for concerts, summer friendlies, Billy Graham revivals and whomever else can come up with the rent money to put on a show. MLS has wanted to be in New York City with a club for a long time now and they finally appear to have the plan in place to do so. The league has seen a number of clubs move into some beautiful soccer specific stadiums over the last few years. Attendance is decent and television ratings are good. The sport is as popular as it's ever been in America. While the league accepts New York Red Bulls as a "New York" club, they hardly are. They have no real connection to the city other than the name. The new palatial stadium they reside in, Red Bull Arena, is in Harrison New Jersey. New Yorkers have to be a bit fed up with crossing a state line to watch some of their "city" teams ply their trade. The Cosmos coming back would harken back to the golden era of the North American Soccer League and give New Yorkers a chance to call a team their own and mean it.
DC United has been one of the league's signature franchises since its inception. United plays in a rundown and fading "cookie cutter" concrete bowl known as Robert F. Kennedy stadium, the former home of the Washington Redskins and original home of the Washington Nationals. RFK opened in 1961 to much fanfare, but in the 51 years since, it's become an anachronistic eyesore. United recently have taken on some new owners into the existing group, both of whom stated emphatically that they want to keep United in Washington and want to get them into a soccer-specific stadium. I wouldn't expect the league to cough up the whole bill for this, but I am in full agreement with the idea of keeping United in the DC city limits and getting them into their own place. The nation's capital has a decent infrastructure for moving people around with the Metro. They have a solid group of supporters. The city is enjoying an upswing in sports reputation as a whole, with a very successful campaign by the city's Nationals as we speak, and real excitement around the Redskins and their rookie sensation, Robert Griffin III. United are currently in one of the playoff positions in the Eastern conference of MLS and have been the entire season. Now would be a great time for them to find out that a new stadium was on the way, even if it was just a plan. The supporters of the club deserve that, and not the constant speculation that United might move out of the city completely if another city (Baltimore has long been rumored as the destination) builds them a stadium.
I know New York is the center of the universe (or likes to pretend it is, anyway), but this is one time where the news needs to be about more than just the nostalgia driven return of a once-great franchise. A highly deserving club in a great sports city deserves the same kind of news.