Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton FC Edmonton on the Cosmos visit to Canada: “They are the biggest team in the North American soccer landscape”

FC Edmonton on the Cosmos visit to Canada: “They are the biggest team in the North American soccer landscape”

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Give FC Edmonton credit. When a team like the New York Cosmos comes to town, a lot of players would revert to cliches like “it’s just another game.” The Eddies didn’t do that. They know the occasion will be special.

The Cosmos is coming to Edmonton to face the Eddies at Clarke Stadium Sunday. Even in the middle of a long weekend, which can be tough on attendances, the Eddies are expecting their biggest crowd of the season. The TV numbers on Sportsnet 360 should be up.

It isn’t just another game. The team with the most recognizable name, the most recognizable jerseys, and the most famous history out of any pro club in either Canada or the United States is back in the NASL as an expansion franchise. And the new Cosmos, which debuted in the fall season, sits in second place in the league. It boasts as close to a Designated Player as NASL can have, in Spanish international Marcos Senna. While most NASL clubs travel light, the Cosmos is expected to bring an entourage of up to 50 with from the Big Apple to the Alberta capital.

But, if the Cosmos gets a result in Edmonton, it’ll be a first. In the first incarnation of the NASL, the Cosmos never recorded a win over the Drillers — or even a draw — at Commonwealth Stadium.

“They are the biggest team in the North American soccer landscape,” said FCE coach Colin Miller. As a teen and a member of the Toronto Blizzard, Miller faced the old Cosmos, the team that featured legends Franz Beckenbauer and Johan Neeskens. Miller joked that he still has the bruises from his tangles with Neeskens.

But Miller said the hype can’t dominate his players’ thoughts.

“We can’t build this brand of the Cosmos to be the next coming of Barcelona,” he said.

That is, the worst thing the Eddies could do is show the Cosmos too much respect.

Defender Edson Edward said the fact the team was bitterly disappointed about only getting a 1-1 draw in Tampa last weekend shows how the culture has changed in the club. The team that finished in last place in 2012 now isn’t happy with just a draw on the road. And, so, he doesn’t expect his teammates to be awed by the Cosmos’s visit.

“I think that game showed how the club is changing,” said the Eddies’ right back. “We’re not just going to go on the road and be happy with a point. But, of course we are excited about this weekend’s game. It’s more than a team. It’s a brand. With the history of the team, with Pele being involved with the Cosmos, and the high number of ex-MLS players on the team, you expect them to be good right away.”

Included in that list of ex-MLS players are three who used to wear Toronto FC red: Peri Marosevic, Joseph Nane and Hunter Freeman.

For Wes Knight, who broke his foot in the second game of the spring season and has been out for four months, Sunday’s match could mark his return to the lineup — and his first chance to play a game in front of the Edmonton fans.

“I’ll be available for selection if I have a good week of training. It’s been a long wait. Four months is the longest period I’ve ever been injured in my career. And this Cosmos game is huge for me. Not just because I may get the chance to play against a team I’ve never played against before in my life, but because I finally will get a chance to play in Edmonton.”

And Knight said it’s not unfair to rate the Cosmos name higher than any team in MLS.

“No disrespect to the L.A. Galaxy or other MLS teams, but when you go abroad and say ‘New York Cosmos’ a bell goes off in people’s heads.”

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10 Comments

  1. Miguel

    September 1, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    So the biggest team in the North American soccer landscape has only played 4 times in 38 years? And the last time they were relevant, most of the FCE players, including rocket scientist Wes Knight, weren’t even born. Yeah, the Cosmos are just like Barcelona, except the part where they are a D2 club, in a tiny insignificant league, built around players not even good enough for MLS. #NASLiswacky

    Reply

    • Seathanaich

      September 3, 2013 at 5:20 pm

      The person interviewed specifically said they weren’t Barcelona and they shouldn’t be hyped up to being them, not that they were. Perhaps you should actually read things before commenting on them.

      Sorry, but whether you like it or not, the history, heritage and profile of this club (not this team, this club) is among the largest in North America, if not the largest.

      Reply

  2. Steve

    August 31, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    @Seathanaich – 67,000 showed up in Seattle to watch a MLS game. 6,800 showed up in NY to watch the Cosmos. People are quickly learning these are not the Cosmos of Pele. They are the Cosmos of MLS castoffs. And if you think they are going to lead the NASL close to MLS, than you are smoking something strong.

    Reply

    • Seathanaich

      September 3, 2013 at 4:53 pm

      @ Steve. No s–t, Sherlock, but if you think 6,800 for D2 soccer in North America isn’t progress (they had 12,000 for their opener, which you’d know if you were actually knowledgable about this topic) then you have no clue what you’re talking about.

      Reply

  3. Seathanaich

    August 29, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    It’s true that the name “Cosmos” still ranks higher in cache than any other in North American soccer, including all the current MLS teams. Hopefully they, and the rest of the NASL, can propel D2 soccer on this continent to a point closer to MLS.

    Reply

    • Zack

      August 30, 2013 at 9:19 am

      It’s your opinion, not truth.

      Reply

  4. Jason

    August 29, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    God, you are a homer.

    And “Cosmos” is still plural. Cosmos “are” not Cosmos “is.”

    Reply

    • Steven Sandor

      August 29, 2013 at 11:56 pm

      Cosmos, like any other singular sports team or corporate name, is always treated as a singular as per Canadian Press style. By now, it’s become an accepted practice to call Apple, Microsoft, the Galaxy, Wild, Heat or Cosmos as plural. But in proper style, these corporate/team entities are singulars.

      Reply

    • Seathanaich

      August 30, 2013 at 1:46 am

      Mr Sandor writes on all aspects of Canadian soccer. If he indulges in a bit of homerism towards Edmonton, he has earned the right to do so.

      Reply

    • BCM

      August 30, 2013 at 5:59 am

      Every sports journalist is a homer – what’s your point? Unnecessary nitpicking.

      Reply

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