By Michael Lewis
The Cosmos will play professional soccer in 2020.
They have been accepted to join National Independent Soccer Association next season, it was announced Wednesday afternoon.
Admission to NISA is contingent upon approval by U.S. Soccer.
NISA has several teams in which the Cosmos competed against in the National Premier Soccer League and the NPSL Members Cup.
“Over the past several months, the Cosmos have been actively engaged in conversations to join NISA in 2020,” Cosmos acting Chief Operating Officer Erik Stover said in a statement. “NISA has a very strong core of independent clubs including old rivals FC Chattanooga, Detroit City FC and Miami FC.
“The leadership of NISA has been very supportive of adding the Cosmos organization to their membership. We expect to have more information to share with our fans in the coming weeks.”
As its name states, NISA is an independent soccer league that competes at the Division III level in the U.S. pro soccer pyramid.
“We attended the board of governors meeting this week and are encouraged by the potential of the league,” Stover said. “The independent, club-based philosophy is soemthing we agree with and we’re optimistic that the league will grow.
“We’re very thankful for the support that we’ve gotten from the league especially from Chattanooga, Detroit, Miami and Oakland.”
NISA commissioner John Prutch welcomed the Cosmos into the league.
“We are very proud to announce the acceptance of the New York Cosmos as an official member of NISA and they are included in NISA’s USSF application for Fall 2020,” he said in a statement. “This history of the Cosmos is unparalleled in the United States as the highest U.S. soccer profile brand and is know throughout the world. We welcome Rocco and the entire team to our family.”
Rocco is Rocco B. Commisso, the Cosmos’ owner.
During 2019, the Cosmos participated in two competitions.
They lost to Miami FC in the NPSL final Aug. 3 and finished second to Detroit City FC in the Members Cup.