New York Cosmos may be back

Louisville’s Andrew Farrell, right, walks over to console North Carolina’s Drew McKinney after Louisville defeated North Carolina in an NCAA college soccer match in Santa Barbara. Louisville won 2-1.
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
By Patrick Horne
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

The New York Cosmos, still hoping to be the first MLS franchise in New York, wants to set up shop at Belmont Park and build a 25,000-seat stadium as part of what is being referred to as an exciting complex on the Queens-Long Island border in Elmont. The $400-million- dollar project to be built on 400 acres is being evaluated for feasibility by New York’s Empire State Development Corporation.

The Cosmos proposal, along with the stadium, includes several restaurants, a major hotel and a public park. The area will be referred to as Elmont Crossings and officials believe that more than 500 construction jobs and over 3,000 full-time jobs will be created. The completed project, if approved on all fronts, could realize an opening day kick- off in the spring of 2016.

‘’This is an exciting prospect that will create jobs and complement Nassau’s sports entertainment tourism plan,’’ County Executive Ed Mangano said in a statement.

Seamus O’Brien, chairman and CEO of the Cosmos, called Belmont “an ideal location and a win-win for everyone involved. Nassau County and Elmont will realize much needed economic growth, and local residents will have a year-round premier destination they can call their own.’’

The Cosmos, which played from 1975 through 1985, dominated the North American Soccer League in the 1970s and ‘80s with world stars such as the legendary Brazilian Pele and his 1970 World Cup captain Carlos Alberto, German legend Frantz Beckenbauer, Italy’s Georgio Chinaglia and Dutchman Johann Neeskens, among others.

As the Cosmos aspirations to be the first MLS team in New York picks up steam again, the MLS has ongoing negotiations with New York City and several groups to build a stadium in Flushing Meadow Park in Corona, Queens. For now, it’s a waiting game.

Farrell is No. 1 MLS draft pick

Midfielder Andrew Farrell, tabbed to play as a central defender in MLS, was drafted as the No. 1 pick overall by the New England Revolution in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft on Thursday, Jan. 17 at the NSCAA Convention in the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. New England traded with Toronto FC just before the draft for the pick to select African American Farrell, who became the first University of Louisville player to be selected first overall in MLS.

Chivas USA picked second and got Mexican-American midfielder Carlos Alvarez of the University of Connecticut; Toronto got the third overall pick and selected Boston College forward Kyle Bekker; Toronto FC gave its No. 4 pick to Vancouver Whitecaps for the No. 10 selection. Vancouver, with the No. 4 pick grabbed 18-year-old high school forward Kekuta Manneh.

The New York Red Bulls had two first round selections in the MLS draft when it chose midfielders Ryan Clark from Monmouth University with its first pick and Michael Bustamante from Boston University at 13th. Clark is a local player from Freehold (NJ) Township High School who was a four-time All- Northeast Conference select, a two-time NSCAA All-North Atlantic Region first team representative. He scored 12 goals and had 25 assists in 80 appearances for Monmouth.

Bustamante, a four-time America East All-Conference first teamer and an NSCAA All-Northeast Region selection, scored nine goals and 27 assists in 69 games for Boston. He was the America East Midfielder and Rookie of the Year in 2008. Overall, players from 26 colleges and universities were among the 38 selections, with Louisville and Georgetown University leading with three selections each.

Lampard to Galaxy?

The news of Chelsea (English Premier League) legend Frank Lampard heading for MLS via Los Angeles Galaxy has surfaced again. Reports from early last week indicate that Lampard was not offered a contract by Chelsea and that he wants to play for the Galaxy if he is not re-signed at Chelsea.

What also encourages the possibility of Lampard’s signings is the fact that Los Angeles has a spot for a designated player since the departure of David Beckham. According to Galaxy coach Bruce Arena, “I wouldn’t be surprised if over the next week or so we’re going to have some sort of decision with a designated player. We wouldn’t rule a move for Lampard out. It’s always a possibility.” Asked about his desire to play in MLS, Lampard said last summer while in New York that he “…wouldn’t rule anything out at the moment.”

Meanwhile, the Galaxy began training on Monday for the 2013 season without U.S. international Landon Donovan, but Arena insists that the star forward will be playing for the Galaxy this season. “We’ve given [Donovan] a little more time off,” Arena said to reporters at the Home Depot Center on Monday. “He’s definitely playing this year. We’re just working out the return date that makes sense for all of us.” The Galaxy opens the season on March 3 at its Home depot Center versus Chicago Fire.

While Lampard may be coming over to MLS, Brek Shea maybe going to the England. Reports out of Dallas say that Dallas FC forward Shea, is heading to Stoke City of the English Premier League for a transfer fee of around US$3 million dollars for four years.

Shea, who has 15 international appearances, scored 11 goals in 2011, but was injured most of last year with abdominal pains, which limited him to three goals in 21 games; as Shea is welcomed at Stoke City, another American international is being ushered out. Stoke announced that it has loaned midfielder Maurice Edu to Bursaspor of Turkey for the rest of the season. The 26-year-old defensive midfielder played for the U.S in the 2010 World Cup and is expected to be a part of the squad for the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Edu was acquired from Rangers of Scotland last fall.

More from Around NYC