By Michael Lewis
The Cosmos have garnered some more support of their quest to retain Division 2 status for 2018.
Two members of the New York City Council, a member of the New York State Senate and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce have sent letters to the U.S. Soccer Federation, asking the organization to rescind its decision to deny the North American Soccer League the Division 2 next year.
The City Council’s Vincent J. Gentile (43rd District) and Chaim M. Deutsch (48th District) sent letters of support for the Cosmos to U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati.
State Senator Diane J. Savino (23rd District) penned a letter to Dan Flynn, secretary general of the organization.
“The New York Cosmos have played an important role in the history of soccer and development,” Savino wrote. “The team has been a wonderful addition to Brooklyn’s Coney Island neighborhood, in my district.”
The Cosmos play at MCU Park in Brooklyn.
In his letter to Gulati, Gentile talked about the expanding popularity of soccer in Brooklyn and the United States.
“I have seen more interest than ever in youth soccer leagues across my Brooklyn community,” he wrote. “Since moving to Coney Island, the Cosmos have partnered with local youth Soccer clubs on many events to spearhead the grassroots growth of the support. They even tour around with players, giving the younger generation something tangible to aspire towards.”
Gentile added: “Brooklynites know all too well what it’s like to lose a professional sports franchise and nobody wants to re-live those same burdens.”
Gentile was referring to the Brooklyn Dodgers moving to Los Angeles in 1957.
A common theme in the letters was jobs.
Andrew Hoan, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, wrote to Gulati, saying that the Cosmos help draw tourists to Coney Island.
“As an integral part of Brooklyn’s sports teams, the home teams’ games are a draw for tourist to visit Coney Island in the traditionally slower tourism months,” Hoan wrote.
Sen. Charles Schumer, New York Assemblywoman Pamela Harris, Assemblyman Peter J. Abbate, Jr. and the Alliance of Coney Island also have sent letters to the USSF.