By Michael Lewis
The Cosmos have received more support — political and from the community — in their and the North American Soccer League’s bid to retain Division 2 status for 2018.
New York Assemblywoman Pamela Harris and Assemblyman Peter J. Abbate, Jr. Wednesday sent letters to U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati, urging for the federation to reconsider its decision to rescind the league’s playing level for next season.
Alexandra Silversmith, the executive director of the Alliance for Coney Island, also forwarded a similar correspondence to Gulati.
The Cosmos played at MCU Park in Coney Island in Brooklyn, N.Y. this past season.
In her letter, Harris said fans “deserve to keep their team. Our community has embraced the club and it has become a staple of our neighborhood.”
“Additionally, the Cosmos have positively impacted our local economy and continue to bring tourists to Coney Island,” wrote Harris, who represents the 46th Assembly District in Kings County (Brooklyn). “Their games have helped strengthen local businesses, create jobs, increase demand for restaurants and other attractions and extend the tourist season well past the summer.”
In his letter, Abbate stated that the Cosmos have been a welcome addition to the community.
“They have done wonderful outreach to the community and have been of great benefit to the city as well as to the soccer community as well,” wrote Abbate, who represents the 49th District Assembly District in Kings County. He added that the Cosmos also have created job opportunities in the community.
Silversmith also noted in her letter the economic impact the Cosmos have had for Coney Island and that it had created many jobs.
“Area restaurants, bars, hotels, and amusement parks have all benefitted from the increased foot traffic brought in from visiting Cosmos fans,” she wrote, adding, “The Cosmos participation in a Division 2 level league is vital for maintaining this sporting and economic success in New York.”
On Tuesday, New York Sen. Charles Schumer urged the USSF to reconsider its decision.