U.S. Soccer: Why the New York Cosmos Must Be the 20th Team in the MLS

The New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League were the most successful and most famous team in American soccer history.

Founded in 1971, the Cosmos dominated the competition in their heyday, winning five titles and making the playoffs virtually every year. They regularly beat up on teams 5-0 and put on a show for the 70,000 plus people who packed Giants Stadium.  The atmosphere was incredible for each game, with fans showing up hours before the game to tailgate in the Giants Stadium parking lot.

Millionaire and president of the Cosmos Steve Ross went to great lengths to put together a star-studded team every year. He broke the bank for Pele, Franz Beckenbauer, Carlos Alberto, Giorgio Chinaglia, and many other world-class soccer players. He helped put the Cosmos on the map with his bold acquisitions, and did all he could to make soccer the most popular sport in New York.

Former-goalkeeper Shep Messing to this day says that the Cosmos were ...

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