The title says it all.
They did it in 1972, 1977, 1978, 1980 and 1982.
Now in 2013 they are looking to do it again.
Here is a quick look at the five previous times that they achieved their quest to NASL Champion:
In 1972 the NY Cosmos finished atop of the Northern division of the NASL with 7 wins, 3 losses and 4 ties. Believe it or not that championship game was played none other than at Hofstra University in front of 6,100 fans. After defeating the Dallas Tornado 1-0 in the NASL Semifinals, the Cosmos would win their first ever NASL championship by beating the Southern Division champion St. Louis Stars by a score of 2-1. Randy Horton would be the Cosmos leading scorer that year with 9 goals and wouldn’t you know it that he would also score one in the Championship game!
When 1977 came around the NASL had evolved some what. The playoff format had also evolved and it wasn’t as it was in 1972 where there were only semi-finals and a final match. 3 rounds would come before Soccer Bowl. In 1977 the NY Cosmos would defeat The Tampa Bay Rowdies in round 1 (3-0), The Ft. Lauderdale Strikers in Round 2 (2-0), and the Rochester Lancers in round 3 (2-0) for the chance to play the Seattle Sounders in the Soccer Bowl. Leading the Cosmos to the Soccer Bowl in this season where the two poster boys of the Cosmos – Giorgio Chinaglia and Pele! The Soccer Bowl was played in Portland Oregon in front of 35,548 fans. Stephen Hunt would score the first goal for the Cosmos in the first half and would later get an assist when Giorgio Chinaglia scored the second and winning goal for the Cosmos!
Here is a link to the full broadcast of the 1977 championship game if you’re into watching the whole thing!
Below is a picture of the 1977 championship team!
Championship #3 -1978
As if 1977 were not enough, they would come right back the next year and do it again. In 1978 The New York Cosmos would take on the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the Soccer Bowl. With Pele no longer playing for the Cosmos, Giorgio Chinaglia was the #1 scoring option for the Cosmos. He would go on to score 34 goals for the Cosmos in 1978 while Steve Hunt would add 12 goals. The Cosmos were starting to become legendary for their deep roster of stars that also included Franz Beckenbauer, Carlos Alberto, Vladislav Bogicevic and Dennis Tueart to name a few. The Cosmos would get by Seattle, Minnesota and Portland to make it to the Soccer Bowl this time. As opposed to the previous year, the Cosmos would get to host this Soccer Bowl and did they ever plan a party! 74,901 was the official attendance for this soccer bowl and the Cosmos gave their fans what they wanted – their 3rd Championship Title. The Cosmos would win 3-1 on two goals by Dennis Tueart and one by Giorgio Chinaglia.
Championship #4 – 1980
In 1980 the Cosmos were at it again. They would finish atop the Eastern Division in the National Conference of the NASL with a 24 and 8 record. In 1980 the Cosmos would add the great Paraguayan soccer star Julio Cesar Romero to play along side Beckenbauer, Alberto and of course Chinaglia. The result culminated in another great season of soccer for the Cosmos. The Cosmos destroyed the Tulsa Roughnecks in the first round of the playoff which included one match where they won 8-1. In the next round they would play a much tougher Dallas Tornado team and end up in a mini game playoff. Finally they Cosmos would sweep the Los Angeles Aztec to gain their spot in the 1980 Soccer Bowl where they would play their arch rival Ft. Lauderdale Strikers. On September 21, 1980, in front of 50,768 at RFK Stadium in Washington, the Cosmos would shutout the Strikers 3-0 to capture their fourth championship. The newest Cosmos that year would score the game winning goal for them as he netted the first goal in the 47th minute. Giorgio Chinaglia would add two more goals in the second half to secure the fourth title for the Cosmos.
Championship #5 – 1982
In 1982 the NASL had already started its decline in popularity. That season saw seven teams leave the league making it all that much easier for the NY Cosmos to once again reach the pinnacle of the NASL. But the championship was definitely not given to the Cosmos. The Cosmos had their share of stars still and were by far the most recognized team in the league. Giorgio Chinaglia & Steve Moyers led the team with goals, while Vladislav Bogicevic, Julio Cesar Romero, Hubert Birkenmier and Roberto Cabanas played pivotal roles in the Cosmos success during the 1982 season. That year the team would finish 23-9 and win the Eastern Division of the NASL. They would get by the Tulsa Roughnecks in a tough three game playoff and then move onto sweep the San Diego Sockers two games to none to move onto the Soccer Bowl. The 1982 Soccer Bowl was played on September 18th in San Diego’s Jack Murphy Stadium. 22,634 fans would see Giorgio Chinaglia score the only goal of the game in the 30th minute that would give the NY Cosmos their 5th NASL Championship.
1982 would be the final time that the NY Cosmos would win the NASL Championship. With the NASL falling into fiscal demise in 1984, the league ceased operations in 1985. As you know, the Cosmos did not exist after the 1984 season. That leaves us at 31 years since our beloved NY Cosmos have raised the NASL championship as theirs. This Saturday the Cosmos have the opportunity to add their sixth championship to their collection of trophies. Lets hope that the 31 year wait ends this Saturday in Atlanta!