By Michael Lewis
The Cosmos might not be not be right for the spring-fall seasons of the National Premier Soccer League in 2020.
With the new league prohibiting players performing under professional contracts, the present incarnation of the team probably not be the right fit for it, says NPSL chairman Kenny Farrell.
The Cosmos will have to make a decision soon as to what path they would want to take for next year.
“We told them that the [Lamar Hunt] U.S. Open Cup was going to kick off earlier next year,” Farrell said Wednesday. “They’re going to have to make up their mind If they want to be in, we want them in. We love them. I believe they want to be a big pro side and if that’s the case, it may be not for this league. Maybe their B team will be. But at the moment I would love to have them in.
“I can’t make any answers for them. but I just know we have a good working relationship with them.”
Farrell said he had spoken to Tom Larsen, the senior vice president of government and public relations at Mediacom Communications, about two weeks ago about what the new NPSL set up. Mediacom chairman and CEO Rocco B. Commisso owns the Cosmos.
“So, we’ll just have to wait and see,” Farrell said. “They’re going to have to make a decision early based on basically their No. 1 U.S. Open Cup first round spot. So, they’re under pressure to make that decision.”
The Cosmos were contacted by FrontRowSoccer.com but as of early evening Thursday, there has been no communication.
“I can’t speak for them,” Farrell said. “What I can say is that we have had a very good relationship with the Cosmos organization. Had a great year last year.”
The two 2019 NPSL finalists, the Cosmos and champion Miami FC, used professional players. Miami FC has moved on to play in the National Independent Soccer Association.
“We had worked extremely hard,” Farrell said. “They had professional players and we had to get waivers and do all kinds of somersaults to get them into the league last year. We did that with them and Miami, who ended up in the final funny enough. We were able to get it extended to get through the Founders Cup.”
The Founders Cup eventually morphed into the Members Cup, in which the Cosmos are competing.
On Saturday, the first-place Cosmos (4-0-1, 13 points) visit second-place Detroit City FC (3-0-0, 9) in a confrontation that could very well go a long way in deciding the Members Cup’s 10-game season.
Farrell said the Cosmos have a lot on their plate these days with the team and North American Soccer League in the midst of an anti-trust lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation.
“There are so many other things that they are involved in right now, especially with the United States Soccer Federation,” he said. “They’re one of our members, they’re one of ours. We’ll work with them as much as we possibly can. I can imagine — I don’t know — they have greater ambitions to be full pro. They may not.”