New York Cosmos Team Guide: 2016 Season

Jonathan Zeller

New York Cosmos
Home field: Shuart Stadium, Hempstead, NY (tickets)

Who they are: The heirs to the legacy of the '70s Cosmos and Pelé, and the reigning North American Soccer League (NASL) champions. They upset the crosstown rival Red Bulls and NYCFC in the 2014 and 2015 US Open Cups—though the Red Bulls later avenged the loss. The Cosmos also made a historic trip to Cuba, where they beat the Cuban national team.

Faces of the franchise: Now that stars Raúl and Marcos Senna are gone, it's a new era in Cosmos-land. Among returning players, forward Lucky Mkosana may be the most exciting to watch.

Key addition: The Cosmos have retooled their roster extensively as they drive for a repeat title. The biggest new name is probably Juan Arango, generally considered one of the best players in Venezuelan history. He's been a prolific goal scorer in top European leagues: La Liga (with Mallorca) and Bundesliga (with Borussia Mönchengladbach).

Fan club: The 5 Points supporters section at Shuart brings together fans from the Cross Island Crew, La Banda del Cosmos and the Borough Boys. They scream, bang drums and let forth colorful clouds of smoke.

Local supporters’ bar: Last season, the team held some watch parties for road games at Jack Demsey's; if you're interested, call ahead to check.

Random bit of trivia: There's a documentary about the original Cosmos.

Match-day practicalities: Take the LIRR to Mineola and then catch the team shuttle. Ticket prices for single games are roughly $15–$90.

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