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Cosmos are coming to Coney

Cosmos in Brooklyn: MCU Park’s Steve Cohen, Cosmos Chief Operating Officer Eric Stover, former goaltender Shep Messing, and current head coach Giovanni Savarese join Borough President Adams at Borough Hall to announce Cosmos youth clinics and a November game at MCU Park.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Come see the Cosmos where the Cyclones play.

Pro-soccer team the New York Cosmos will play a semi-final playoff game at MCU Park on Nov. 7, according to Borough President Adams, who was joined by representatives from the stadium and the team at Borough Hall on July 30.

The Cosmos will also be hosting youth soccer clinics at Pier 5 in Brooklyn Bridge Park from Aug. 3–7.

“ ‘The Beautiful Game’ has a beautiful future in our borough, and engaging our young athletes in this great sport is important to building healthy bodies and minds with a love of teamwork and good sportsmanship,” said Adams.

The Cosmos finished first during the North American Soccer League’s Spring season, earning the right to host a playoff game this fall. The team already won the league’s championship — the Soccer Bowl — in 2013, the first season of the legendary club’s rebirth. A team representative said that a scheduling conflict at the Cosmos’ regular home, Hofstra University’s Shuart Stadium, presented the opportunity to arrange a date in Coney Island.

“We have the right to host the first round of our playoffs, and we’ve only lost one league game this year,” said the team’s chief operating officer Erik Stover. “We wanted to go to a place that was comfortable to us because we have a chance to win a trophy.”

This will not be the Cosmos’ first stop in Coney Island. The team has already played one game at MCU Park on May 2 — a 1–0 shutout victory over the Ottawa Fury, one of the league’s best teams.

The Coney contests are especially meaningful for the team’s head coach, who has a personal connection with the borough.

“Brooklyn has a great history with soccer,” said head coach Giovanni Savarese, a former standout for Long Island University and Major League Soccer’s New York-New Jersey Metrostars. “I played here in college, so I know firsthand the passion and the culture of soccer that exists here, and we also experienced that when we played at MCU Park earlier this year.”

Stover said the players liked the field on their first trip to the home of the Cyclones, and the team’s fans enjoyed the professional stadium experience of a modern facility, so the Cosmos are open to more dates at MCU Park in the future.

“I think it’s important for a team to have a home,” Stover said. “To move around a lot is difficult for a fan base and a team, but our experience in Brooklyn has been very good.

Savarese, his coaching staff, and some of his players will be on hand to help local kids develop skills a passion for the sport at the youth clinics. Parents can register children between ages six and 15 years for the clinics, which are open to players of any ability.

New York Cosmos playoff game at MCU Park (1904 Surf Avenue, at W. 17th Street in Coney Island, www.nycosmos.com) Nov. 7 at 2 pm. $15 and up.

Cosmos youth clinic at Brooklyn Bridge Park [Pier 5, near Joralemon Street in Brooklyn Heights, (855) 71–COSMOS, www.nycosmostdp.com] Aug. 3–7 from 9 am to 3 pm. $150–240.

Reach reporter Eric Faynberg at (718) 260–2508 or by e-mail at efaynberg@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @ericfaynberg.
Heads Up: Cosmos head coach and former LIU standout Giovanni Savarese will teach skills like these to kids at the youth clinics in Brooklyn.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

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