The news just gets worse and worse regarding the New York Cosmos.
Earlier today, we brought you revelations about the debt that the Cosmos are in, and the fact that the team is actively seeking new ownership. Subsequent reports seem to have taken a turn for the worse rather than bringing better news.
Empire of Soccer is reporting that the Cosmos have sent termination letters to the players. This just hours after the reports of the search for new ownership. Empire of Soccer says that the move likely means that the team will officially cease operations for the upcoming 2017 season at the very least.
Front office staff for New York are on furlough as the problems are sorted out, but as of right now, it does not look good for the historic franchise.
What this means for the Loons
I would venture a guess that this will have some impact on how the roster looks in 2017. Manny Lagos and the front office staff are obviously very familiar with the make up of the Cosmos, and I would not be surprised to see certain former Cosmos wearing the Loon crest next season.
Other than that, it likely means very little to Minnesota United as it stands right now. MNUFC is on to the MLS, but it is worrisome for the old digs. If MNUFC were still in the NASL for next year, I would be more worried about the future for MNUFC. I am very worried about the future of not only the Cosmos, but also the NASL...
Bad news for the NASL
This can only be a sign of bad things to come. If the Cosmos do need to cease operations, there goes one of the league pillars. The league has had nothing but turmoil this season it seems, but I never thought it would ever be this bad.
The Cosmos are definitely not the only reason I am worried about the future of the NASL. The article from FiftyFive.One detailing the financial trouble that Fort Lauderdale has been in this year was a huge revelation. The Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Ottawa Fury have both left for the USL. All signs are pointing to dire situation for Rayo OKC as majority owner Rayo Vallecano FC was relegated from La Liga.
There are rumors that San Francisco is having doubts about the future of the league, but the Deltas have reaffirmed there commitment as of now.
But that still only leaves Jacksonville Armada, Indy Eleven, Miami FC, and Puerto Rico FC as teams that appear to be in a good state (unless there has been news that we have not seen). As of right now, it appears that the rebranded Carolina Railhawks will still be in the league, but that is only five teams. Six*, if we assume San Francisco is joining the league. But again, all reports indicate that “North Carolina FC” will be agressively seeking a bid to the MLS within the next couple years.
Indy Eleven and Miami FC appear to have built the following that Minnesota United have, but six teams is not great for a league. Peter Wilt continues to push for expansion in Chicago and San Diego, but that is just three expansions to replace potentially five teams. The support for Indy Eleven and Miami FC is a morale boost for a league that has only experienced bad news for a couple weeks.
I know Minnesota United is no longer a part of the NASL, but the NASL gave the Loons life. I enjoyed the Loons time in the NASL, and I would hate to see the league die off again. We will continue to keep you fans up to date as best we can.
* I think we can assume Fort Lauderdale will be in the league next year. I have not seen reports to the contrary, at least.