So this week, the soccer god that is Edison Arantes do Nascimento, affectionately known as Pele, relaunched the New York Cosmos in the hope of once again elevating the state of the world’s most popular game in the States.
In truth I admire the optimism, capitalising on what was a successful World Cup for the USA, this proves a great opportunity to revive the Cosmos name and, after many attempts, finally try to break soccer across the Atlantic.
In the past the Cosmos attracted some of the great names, including Pele himself and Franz Beckenbauer, the legendary German midfielder. However, whilst big names were brought in and success for the team followed, the game failed to catch on the way it was intended to. Since then there have been numerous attempts to force the game on the American people, most recently with David Beckham and now Thierry Henry.
With these past failures, I don’t think anyone can be blamed for being sceptical about this latest venture. Bringing in ageing stars of the world to an MLS that simply isn’t asking for them will not do much to elevate the beautiful game State Side.
The rise of soccer academies, young raw talent, an increase in school presence and American stars such as Langdon Donovan will do more for raising awareness than former superstars ever will.