The New York Cosmos don't need Major League Soccer. But MLS needs the Cosmos.
The Cosmos flexed their muscles in recent weeks with the announcement of Eric Cantona and Cobi Jones joining the organization. The subsequent media blitz across the big apple further showed how the Cosmos brand still has allure even after 30 years since they last played in the old North American Soccer League.
If the Cosmos join MLS is still to be seen. Does it really make sense for them to pay over 40 million to join MLS? Does it make sense to enter a league that controls all player movements, merchandising, etc, etc? The way I see it MLS needs the New York Cosmos more than the NY Cosmos need MLS. The Cosmos have the brand that would take MLS to the next level. Cosmos in my eyes should get in free, they stand to make the league millions. Stadiums they go to will get packed across the country and this team has yet to sign a player!
What would I do if I was part of the Cosmos organization? I'd play hard ball, get my poker face on and negotiate a deal that would get me into the league for free and set a merchandising agreement.
MLS doesn't want to make a deal? Sure, this can happen , the Wilpons (Owners of the Mets) have been rumored to be interested in an MLS NY team, but a team set up by the Wilpons would only be just another team in NY, another Red Bulls. They will never be the NY Cosmos. The Cosmos are the Cosmos.With the right vision, The Cosmos can save millions while making millions joining the NASL.
The new NASL has a few teams most of us can remember, the soon to be known as (I hope) Ft Lauderdale Strikers and FC Tampa (soon to be called Tampa Bay Rowdies?). These were two of the most successful teams the old NASL had before the league disappeared. If you add further teams in Edmonton, Atlanta, San Antonio you have more former old NASL markets.Already we know that due to MLS's salary cap, many quality players are forced to play in other leagues, some in division 2. This bleeding of talent has made division 2 competitive in quality to current MLS teams. Just look back the past few years to the Montreal Impact and Puerto Rico Islanders in their successful runs in the CONCACAF champions league.
The Cosmos name is enough to attract high quality players which they will be able to afford,since they didn't pay the MLS entry fee. Not being held by the restraints of MLS salary cap rules will help. Furthemore Division 2 status would not hinder their views for world domination.
With the Cosmos, the revival of the NASL would be complete and in my eyes one day rival the MLS. If the Cosmos join NASL I predict that in 2 to 3 years more teams will join the league (paying about only 1 million as an entry fee) and the NASL as a division 2 league will rival MLS. This will one day force a merger of both leagues.
In the end the Cosmos have MLS by the balls (pun totally intended).