by Kevin Walsh

From a construction site in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League (1971-1984), like baseball’s New York Yankees, had the financial resources to sign the cream of the crop of the world’s best soccer players.

A new Cosmos franchise is in the works for Major League Soccer.


ron s March 29, 2012 - 6:36 pm

For you true soccer fans–just prior to the Cosmos, New York had the NY Generals (sponsored by General Tires). NASL was one of the many failed attempts to establish soccer in the US. The league, and the Generals, were characterized by old semi-retired European players, very young new players, and generally low level play. The CBS announcer was English and would often exclaim things like “bad pass, that was a very bad pass”
Curious if anyone in the forgotten fan base was at their games with me. (They were a terrible team but I loved the games)….

Mark April 2, 2012 - 7:38 am

The New York Generals certainly fall into the category of “Forgotten New York.” I followed the league and went to a few games at Yankee Stadium. Their top player was Co Prins.

AlC March 29, 2012 - 10:01 pm

The great Pele !

To watch him with a soccer ball was to watch a true magician.

Keith March 30, 2012 - 9:29 am

Just goes to show you, we can acquire the best talent in soccer in the world and no one here in the USA will watch it……

roger_the_shrubber March 30, 2012 - 10:20 am

Saw them play on Randall’s Island. The stadium reminded me of a Roman ruin.

Ken B March 30, 2012 - 12:16 pm

Downing Stadium was about as close to a Roman ruin as you could get. The seating was pure “bleachers” – just flat concrete steps. There were neither backs, nor armrests. Sitting through any event there was sheer torture.

roger_the_shrubber April 1, 2012 - 6:45 pm

I would love to see some old photos of the stadium. I scrounged around the web but not much luck.

You’re right. the seating reminded me of the large, concrete steps around Astoria Pool.

roger_the_shrubber April 8, 2012 - 10:02 am


With all the high tech stadiums we have now, wouldn’t it be a hoot to see an event at Downing?

Kevin Walsh April 8, 2012 - 10:06 am

Downing was torn down so they could build Carl Icahn Stadium

Pat March 30, 2012 - 10:24 am

“From a construction site in Red Hook, Brooklyn.”

Not sure I understand that comment. They never played in Red Hook. They played their first year at Yankee Stadium, and later Hofstra, then Downing Stadium & then the new Giants Stadium in NJ.

Kevin Walsh March 30, 2012 - 10:53 am

The photos appear on a fence surrounding a construction site in Red Hook

Joel Frid March 30, 2012 - 11:52 am

My father took me a number of times to see the Cosmos including Yankees Stadium and Giants Stadium. One time, the year Cosmos were playing at Yankees Stadium, we went to see the Cosmos play at Shea Stadium which was great because I live(d) in southern Flushing. That particular week, Yankees Stadium was not available so they moved the game to Shea.

Edward Findlay March 30, 2012 - 11:17 pm

The Cosmos are still at least two to three years away from joining MLS, until they get a stadium deal going they aren’t joining the league anytime soon.

roger_the_shrubber April 1, 2012 - 8:51 pm

Giorgio Chinaglia just died I heard.

Bill Tweeddale April 2, 2012 - 7:42 am

Chinaglia died Sunday at his home in Naples, Fla.

ron s April 2, 2012 - 1:02 pm

Another great memory of Downing–this was for the early Cosmos on TV ( I believe it was after the Generals (described above). The gane was being shown on network (CBS?) but the field was really decrepit–hard packed dirt and dying grass. To make it appear better on TV, they painted some of the dirt green.
Truth is stranger than fiction…


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