Today the NY Cosmos announced that once they have concluded their Soccer Bowl match against the Atlanta Silverbacks this Saturday in Atlanta they will be packing their bags for Spain to play an International, Marcos Senna, Testimonial match against Villareal CF. For those newer fans of the NY Cosmos and for those not aware, Villareal is the former club of NY Cosmos midfielder MArcos Senna. They currently play in Spain’s La Liga and they are considered one of the top club teams in that league and are currently sitting in fourth place in the league behind Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.
There are so many positives about this that I don’t even know where to start. As a Cosmos fan, the level of respect that a team can give a player is a testimonial match such as this. One can argue that Marcos Senna has been a irreplaceable part of this team. Not only has he been a scorer for the Cosmos, but he has been a play maker for them. On top of that, he has been a source of guidance for the many youngsters on the team and a solid core that the team has been able to build around. I’ve mentioned in previous postings how even though Senna is with the Cosmos now he will always be a part of his former Villareal Club. This match is further proof and I cannot wait to see the atmosphere that will exist on Wednesday when the two sides play each other. I’m sure that it will be one of nostalgia for Senna but at the same time one of celebration as he had many years there. It would not surprise me to see him suit up in Cosmos colors for the first half and have him switch over to Villareal yellow in the second half! Can Kyle Reynish stop Senna?
For the Cosmos this is a wonderful opportunity to go overseas and start what has always been a staple of the NY Cosmos and that is to be an international brand. The NY Cosmos of 30 years ago were part of the NASL but during the off seasons they would always participate in international friendly matches against various clubs and national teams around the world. The NY Cosmos this year started their year playing in England against Leyton Orient. Now they will have a chance to wrap up their season with a trip to Spain against Villareal.
What would be even nicer is if the Cosmos could travel to Spain with the 2013 NASL Trophy. Can you imagine the exposure that this could bring the Cosmos – the NASL Champions travel to Spain to play Villareal. Should they be successful in Spain, one could only hope that this would open the door to other friendly matches against several other clubs around the world. There has been much buzz about a friendly against Lazio, the late Giorgio Chinaglia’s former club. I would not be surprised to see the Cosmos pull off this match.
Not only does it look good for the Cosmos to simply play International Clubs, but its also an opportunity for players overseas to notice the NY Cosmos. At the same time it creates the potential for the Club to approach these international players and say “hey, have you ever thought of playing for the Cosmos?”. I mean lets remember Marcos Senna came from Spain and he has had lots of success here with the Cosmos.
While I am not trying to say that the Cosmos will be flooded with International stars in the future, you have to commend the effort that they are putting forth. They are respecting their past by taking the steps needed to get the team back to were they once were. And while they may never fully get to the level that the Cosmos were in the 70’s and 80’s, the team is focusing on building a brand that will last. Kudos to them!