Who they are: The heirs to the legacy of the ’70s Cosmos and Pelé, they are also the back-to-back reigning champions of the Division 2 North American Soccer League (NASL). They’ve tallied a 3–1 record against the Red Bulls and NYCFC in three years of US Open Cup competition, their only chance to face MLS teams. In the biggest upset of all, the Cosmos recovered from what seemed to be certain financial ruin this offseason, after losing most of their players, when businessman Rocco Commisso stepped in to buy the franchise.
Face of the franchise: There’s been a lot of upheaval on the Cosmos, but among the returning players is goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer. Comedian Leslie Jones is a fan.
Key addition: Among the many signings the team made during its rapid offseason rebuild was Amauri, a striker who scored 80 career goals in Italy’s Serie A and made one appearance with the Italian National Team. He scored five goals last season for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. While he’s not a star on the order of Raul, the team hopes he can make a solid contribution to another title run.
Fan club: The 5 Points supporters section 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.
Random bit of trivia: There's a documentary about the original Cosmos.
Match-day practicalities: The D, F, N and Q subway lines all run out to Coney Island, just a few steps from MCU Park. Single-game tickets run from $15–35.