Rocco Commisso will dig into his pockets once again for the Cosmos. (FrontRowSoccer.com Photo)
By Michael Lewis
While the Cosmos await news of the fate of the North American Soccer League, the team is not about to fold its tent just yet.
Owner Rocco B. Commisso, who saved the team from extinction last January, has agreed to pay the team’s front office and many players through the end of this month.
The Cosmos and the rest of the league had hoped to hear of a ruling on their lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation that was held in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Dec. 15. Both sides had hoped a decision would have been rendered before Christmas.
Prior to Christmas, Commisso said that he would pay front office and players’ salaries through the end of 2017. Now, he has extended that deadline.
“Rocco is doing everything he can to keep the Cosmos going, including extending all of the front office staff for at least through Jan. 31,” Cosmos Chief Operating Officer Erik Stover said. “Many players have been offered short term extensions as well.”
Stover would not say which players were offered extended contracts.
“This approach is helping us plan for 2018 and it’s keeping as many people employed as possible,” Stover said. “Hopefully, we’ll all get news in the near future.”
The NASL wants to overturn a ruling in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of New York in November so it could continue as a Division II league in 2018. If not, the NASL has claimed that it will go out of business.
Three Cosmos players and a coach already have moved on.
Head coach Giovanni Savarese has signed with the Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer.
Goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer joined FC Dallas while defender David Diosa has inked a contract with the Real Monarchs (United Soccer Soccer) and midfielder Irving Herrera has hooked up with FAS in his native El Salvador.