Wednesday evening, the New York Cosmos US Open Cup fate was finally revelaed. They will take on the Brooklyn Italians on Wednesday, May 28th at St. Johns University’s Belsom Stadium. Brooklyn advanced to the third round to play the Cosmos by way of defeating the Jersey Express last night in what was a back and forth battle to escape round two. Brooklyn trailed in this match on two occassions, trailing 1-0 in the first half and 2-1 in the second half. Finally in the second half they kicked their offense into second gear and rallied off three straight unanswered goals to seal the victory.
There is lots of irony surrounding the Brooklyn Italians taking on the New York Cosmos. Just recently in March, Brooklyn honored Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese as their “Sportsman of the Year” during their annual dinner gala. Coach Savarese was a former player for the Brooklyn Italians prior to his days with the New York Metrostars. Additionally Cosmos assistant coach Carlos Llamosa, was also a former player for the Brooklyn Italians. As if that were not enough, Jimmy Mulligan who was recently signed by the New York Cosmos in early April, played 1,500 minutes for the Brooklyn Italians during their 2012 season that saw him make appearances in 19 matches while scoring two goals and adding an assist.
The Brooklyn Italians play in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) which is currently the home to over 80 teams across the country. The NPSL has stated that its mission is to be a league where teams can have a sustainable model to serve as an inspiration to players and soccer fans in the various communities where the teams are based out of. This inspiration hopes to serve as a pyramid foundation for soccer in the United States with the NASL and MLS being the upper tiers of that pyramid.
The Brooklyn Italians are New York’s oldest soccer club, actually even older than the New York Cosmos. Founded in 1949, they have been known as several different club names over the years such as the Brooklyn Dodgers, Inter-Brooklyn Italians and even Boca Juniors. In 1991, they went back to the Brooklyn Italians name and won the US Open Cup in that year. They also won the US Open Cup in 1979 under the Brooklyn Dodgers name. Both US Open Cup victories came in years prior to the existence of Major League Soccer.
Let’s all make sure that we get to St Johns University on May 28th to watch the Cosmos knock Brooklyn out of the US Open Cup!