It never gets old for the New York Cosmos. The times change, the players change, the managers change, the names change…but the New York Cosmopolitans stay the same. Changing a tradition that goes back to the heydays of the 1970’s would be a sin against everything that is good about the Big Apple.
This weekend, the tradition continued.
Winning the Soccer Bowl has been a tradition for the greatest club in the North American Soccer League, and on Saturday at Silverbacks Park in Atlanta, Ga., Giovanni Savarese’s Cosmos delivered with a 1-0 victory over the Atlanta Silverbacks before an overflow crowd of 7,211.
Who better to be the hero of this one than one of the most storied footballers from Spain in Marcos Senna. In the 50th minute, Senna controlled a rebound from 18 yards and sent it past Silverbacks netminder Joe Nasco. Meanwhile, former Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Kyle Reynish showed everyone why he is the Golden Glove winner with a variety of saves.
“Anything we say now, we’re going to back up with our actions,” Cosmos COO Erik Stover told SI.com’s Brian Straus. “Ultimately, that takes on a sort of grassroots approach. Whenever we run into skepticism, it’s fine. We take it for what it is, we state our position and we go about our business. And I think we’ve shown that all we want to be is a proper soccer club.”
“It’s not in anybody’s best interests to [significantly outspend the competition], especially in a league that’s growing. We’re very much in line with the rest of the NASL. In fact, there were several NASL players in the beginning that Gio wanted to go after that we ultimately didn’t get, and it’s because we weren’t spending more.
“There were three or four players on other NASL teams, and we just weren’t going to go as high as people were asking for. I think we’ve stuck to that. We will continue to try to follow that model and we’ll see what changes. We’ve gotten performances out of players like Sebastián Guenzatti [a Uruguayan midfielder who attended high school in Queens], Diomar Díaz, and these were guys that nobody really ever heard of. Gio found them, and he’s cultivated them and he’s made them better.”
“Writing a new future and hopefully playing some attractive soccer and start winning championships again, we realize what the logo means,” said 32-year old captain Carlos Mendes. “But we’re never going to be the old Cosmos or these great players that played here. For us it’s about hopefully making the fans in New York proud, whether it’s new fans or older fans that do remember the Cosmos.”
Saverese summed it all up on Saturday night, as the club completed writing a new chapter in its storied history.
“The New York Cosmos are back,” Savarese told Big Apple Soccer’s Matt Levine. “We worked very hard this season to play in the NASL…we’re very proud of the players because they accomplished great things weekend through weekend and tonight win the championship.”