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Former Manchester United great Eric Cantona has been appointed director of football at the reformed New York Cosmos, the club said on Wednesday.
The Cosmos, a former powerhouse in the now-defunct North American Soccer League (NASL) who once boasted Pele and Franz Beckenbauer as players, folded in 1985 but was relaunched last August.
While they currently have no players or stadium, the Cosmos are focussing on youth football.
The Cosmos hope to join North America’s top professional league, Major League Soccer, and MLS is keen on the idea of a second team in New York to compete with the New York Red Bulls, who feature former Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry.
“I am very honoured to join the legendary club New York Cosmos. It’s a big project, a wonderful project. The Cosmos are very strong, beautifully made, with a great past. It’s kind of a mix between football and art,” Frenchman Cantona said in a statement on the Cosmos website (www.nycosmos.com).
“I will do everything that I can to help us first find our way to regain the number one position in the United States and then for us to become one of the best clubs in the world over the coming years,” he added. (Reuters)
This is indeed going to be a big project for King Eric to take on but the fact that the New York Cosmos has got the former Manchester United legend involved is a very good move both promotionally and in footballing terms. Up until now the slightly rotund 44 year old’s only involvement in coaching has come in the rather comical sphere of Beach soccer.
It should not be taken lightly that whilst the reincarnated New York Cosmos have aspirations to join the MLS they are still without a stadium or indeed a team as such. They do however have Pele as honorary president and Cobi Jones (once of Coventry and the holder of about 2 million international caps) on board so it is only a matter of time before they hit the big time again.
One can only hope they do not self implode due to spending cash like it’s Monopoly money as they did in the 1970s and 80s. We intend to help this dream become a reality and we have personally decided to become honorary supporters of the New York Cosmos and will hope to partner with the club in such a way that allows us to give out some of their incredibly classy garments to our viewers. Watch this space.
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