Monday, June 5, 2017

NY Cosmos Greatest All-Time Team

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

A lot of famous people attended NY Cosmos' games
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

African American PlayersGerman Americans/American Germans
Hispanic/Latino American Players
USA World Cup 2010
LA GalaxyDC United,
University of VirginiaUCLA.

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for the club.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

Founded in 1970, NY Cosmos was one of the most glamorous clubs in football's history. Backed by Warner Communications, the club went a shopping sprees in the mid-1970's.  They signed Pele, Franz Beckenbauer, Giorgio Chinaglia, etc turning the club into one of most glamorous clubs and creating a "soccer fever" in the United States. Their peak was short-lived.  The club folded in 1984.  In 2010, a group of businessmen restarted the club.  The new Cosmos' first match was on August 5, 2011, when they played against Manchester United at Old Trafford in Paul Scholes's testimonial match. Cantona managed a team of guest players from around the world, but they were unable to secure a franchise with the MLS.  Since 2016, the club struggled financially.
Pele and the star-studded 

GK: Hubert Birkenmeier (West Germany)
In 1970, he signed with Freiburger FC before moving to Tennis Borussia Berlin in 1972.  He played for NY Cosmos from 1977 to 1985, playing both indoor and outdoor. He was the Cosmos' starting goalie for three consecutive Soccer Bowls ('80, '81 & '82), and did not concede a goal in any of them. Later, he played for Chicago Sting and New York Express of the MISL, Los Angeles Lazers, Cosmopolitan Eagles and New York Pancyprian-Freedoms.

GK: Yasin Özdenak/Erol Yasin (Turkey)
Yasin Özdenak started his career with İstanbulspor A.Ş. and Galatasaray before he joined NY Cosmos in 1977 where he was known as as Erol Yasin. His brothers were also professional footballers for Galatasaray.  Gökmen Özdenak is one of the club's all-time greats. He was capped by Turkey 6 times. He was also Turkish Football of the Year in 1969.

GK: Shep Messing (USA)
Messing played college soccer with Harvard and New York University.  He played for the USA at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. After the Olympics, Messing joined the New York Cosmos of the NASL, where his teammates would eventually include Pelé, Franz Beckenbauer and Giorgio Chinaglia. He also played for Boston Minutemen, Oakland Stompers, Rochester Lancers, NY Arrows, etc. and also indoor soccer.

RB: Carlos Alberto (Brazil)
Carlos Alberto was one of the greatest fullback ever played the game. He was the captain of the 1970 World Cup winning team in Mexico, a team considered to be the best ever.  His goal in the Final was considered one of the greatest goals in the history of the tournament. He missed the World Cup Finals in 1974 through an injury.  He played with Pele both at Santos and NY Cosmos. He had 53 caps for Brazil.
Carlos Alberto
RB/LB/CB: Andranik Eskandarian (Iran)
Andranik Eskandarian is probably the most famous Iranian players in the world during the 1970's because he played with Pele in NY Cosmos.  He was a sweeper, but played RB and LB for NY Cosmos. For the national team, he won the Asian Cup in 1976 and went to the 1978 WC Finals. His son played for the USA.

RB/CM: Rick Davis (USA)
He was one of the few American player who played in the height of NASL.  He played with Pele and Franz Beckenbauer at the NY Cosmos.  He is considered by many the best U.S.-born player of the North American Soccer League era and is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame. He was capped 35 times.  He received a serious injury in 1989 and was not a part of the 1990 WC team.

CB: Wim Rijsbergen (Netherlands)
Playing for Feyenoord Rotterdam, Rijsbergen was part of the Netherlands national football team which finished second in both the 1974 and 1978 World Cups. He earned 28 caps. He later played in the North American Soccer League, for the New York Cosmos. Rijsbergen began his professional career at PEC Zwolle, and ended it in 1986 at FC Utrecht.

SW/CM: Franz Beckenbauer (West Germany)
Franz Beckenbauer was one of the best ever player in history.  Known as Der Kaiser, he was credited with revolutionizing the sweeper position.  Twice selected European Footballer of the Year, Beckenbauer appeared 103 times for West Germany and played in three FIFA World Cups, winning the WC in 1974 and the European Championship in 1972.  He won three straight European Cup with Bayern Munich in 1974, 1975 and 1976.
Franz Beckenbauer
CB: Werner Roth (USA)
Werner Roth movd to the US at the age of 8 from Yugoslavia. He played for NY German-Hungarians.  In 1972, he joined NY Cosmos and became one of the few Americans playing for the star-studded side.  He stayed there until 1979.  He earned 15 caps for the USA.  He is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

CB: Giuseppe Wilson (Italy)
Born in the UK to a British father and an Italian mother, Wilson started his career with Internapoli in 1964-65. He joined Lazio in 1969. He played 10 seasons with them winning the 1973-1974 Serie A title.  He was among the greatest ever defender for Lazio.  While at Lazio, he was capped 3 times by Italy.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 1974.  He headed to the USA and played for NY Cosmos in 1978.

LB: Marinho Chagas (Brazil)
Marinho Chagas was a top leftback during the 1970's and was known as being a right-footed leftback.  He was theb starting leftback for Brazil at the 1974 World Cup Finals. He played for many clubs in Brazil, USA and Germany.  His longest stint was with Botafago, which lasted 4 years.  He played with Franz Beckenbauer and Carlos Alberto for NY Cosmos. 

LB: Bruce Wilson (Canada)
Considered to be Canada's greatest player. Capped over 50 times.  He captained Canada at the WC Finals in 1986.  He played in the NASL, where he won 6 All-Stars selection and three of them first team. He played for the Vancouver Whitecaps from 1974 to 1977, the Chicago Sting in 1978 and 1979, the New York Cosmos in 1980, and the Toronto Blizzard from 1981 to 1984.

DM: Marcos Senna (Spain)
Before 2002, he played for various clubs in Brazil.  In 2002, he joined Villarreal in La Liga.  He stayed there until 2013.  He helped the club to reach the semifinal of the Champions' League in 2006.  He became a Spanish citizen in 2006.  He went to the WC Finals in Germany and helped Spain to win the European Championship in 2008.

DM: Keith Eddy (England)
Eddy made 482 appearances in the Football League for Barrow, Watford and Sheffield United. He was then signed by the New York Cosmos as part of a squad strengthening program following the arrival of Pelé. Eddy spent two seasons with the Cosmos, becoming captain of a team which included Pele, Franz Beckenbauer and Giorgio Chinaglia.

CM: Johan Neeskens (Netherlands)
Johan Neeskens was considered to be one of the greatest Dutch midfielders. He was a crucial component in the Total Football side of the 1970s.  He had 49 caps for Netherlands.  Her led Netherlands to two second place finishes at the World Cup Finals in 1974 and 1978.  He was Netherlands' top scorer at the 1974 World Cup Finals.  He also won three straight European Cups with Ajax: 1971, 1972, 1973. He also played with Barcelona FC and New York Cosmos.
Johan Neeskens
CM: Ramón Mifflin (Peru)
Mifflin played with Centro Iqueño and Sporting Cristal in Peru. He made 44 appearances for Peru and started in the 1970 World Cup.  After the World Cup, he was signed by Racing Club of Argentina, and Santos of Brazil where he became a close friend of Pelé. When Pele signed for the NY Cosmos, he also signed with the Cosmos and remained with them until 1977.  He also played with the LA Aztecs and NY Eagles.

CM: John Kerr Sr (Scotland/Canada)
Kerr began his career with Partick Thistle in Scotland. before he emigrated to Toronto. He played for clubs in the USA and Club América of Mexico in the early 1970s. In 1972, Kerr became a member of the New York Cosmos. In 1972, he was was named league First Team All-Star at midfield. He then played the 1976 and 1977 seasons with the Washington Diplomats. Capped 10 times for Canada.

CM: Vladislav Bogićević (Yugolavia/USA)
Bogićević's playing career included 13 seasons with Red Star Belgrade. In 1978, he joined the New York Cosmos. He was named to either the first or second team all-star team in each of his seven NASL seasons. He was also on three NASL championship winning teams. He was the league assist leader in 1981, 1982, and 1983. He was inducted into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2002. Capped 23 times.  He played for Yugoslavia at the 1974 WC Finals.
Vladislav Bogićević
RW: François Van der Elst (Belgium)
From 1969 to 1980 Van der Elst played for Anderlecht. In 1976 he was part of the 1975–76 European Cup Winners' Cup-winning squad, netting twice in the final against West Ham United. He also played for NY Cosmos and West Ham.  He was capped 44 times and went to Euro 1980, where Belgium reached the Final against West Germany.

LW: Dennis Tueart (England)
Tueart began his career with Sunderland. Following their relegation in 1970, the Black Cats won the FA Cup in 1973. In 1974, he signed for Manchester City, winning the 1976 League Cup final. He moved to the United States to join the NY Cosmos, where he won Soccer Bowl '78 and was named man of the match for netting two goals in Final. He also played for Stoke City, Burnley and Irish club Derry City.

AM: Julio Cesar Romero (Paraguay)
Julio Cesar Romero was considered the best outfielder in Paraguay's history.  He also had careers in Paraguay, the USA, Spain, Mexico, Chile and Brazil.  His two most famous stints were with NY Cosmos and Fluminense.  He led Paraguay to win the Copa America in 1979 and to qualify for the World Cup Finals in 1986.  He was selected as the South American Footballer of the Year in 1985.

AM: Siegfried Stritzl (Yugoslavia/USA)
Stritzl spent six seasons with Blau-Weiss Gottschee of the German American Soccer League (GASL) between 1961 and 1968.  In 1969, the Baltimore Bays of the North American Soccer League (NASL) signed Stritzl where Stritzl was named the NASL Rookie of the Year. In 1971, the New York Cosmos signed him. He earned 11 caps for the United States.

FW: Randy Horton (Bermuda)
Horton was also a top level cricketer, representing Bermuda national cricket team 5 times between 1969 and 1980. He signed with the NY Cosmos as was named NASL Rookie of the Year and First Team all-star for the 1971 season. Horton played two more summers with the Cosmos before being traded to the Washington Diplomats. After a season there, he finished his NASL career playing for the Hartford Bicentennials.
Randy Horton
FW: Pele (Brazil)
Pele is considered the greatest player ever in the history of the game.  he won his World Cup in 1958 as a 17 years old.  He would win his second one in 1962, but he was injured throughout the tournament. In 1970, he won his third and final World Cup, with a team that was considered the greatest ever.  He played almost his entire career with Santos.  He unretired to join New York Cosmos in 1976.
ST: Roberto Cabañas (Paraguay)
During his career, Cabañas played for Cerro Porteño of Paraguay, Stade Brestois and Olympique Lyonnais of France, the New York Cosmos (winning the 1980 and 1982 NASL championship and top scorer and NASL MVP in 1983), América de Cali of Colombia and Boca Juniors of Argentina . Cabañas was a key player of the Paraguay during the 1980s. Cabañas went to the 1986 World Cup.

ST: Giorgio Chinaglia (Italy)
Born in Italy, he grew up in Wales, where he started his career with Swansea. Lazio voted him as their greatest ever player.  In 1973-1974, he led the league in scoring as Lazio won the scudetto. Later, he received a lot name recogination when he played for NY Cosmos with Pele and Franz Beckenbauer. He was one of the few players who played in NASL during their prime. He played 14 times for Azzurii between 1972 and 1975.
Giorgio Chinaglia
Honorable Mention
Jack Brand, Roby Young, Mordechai Spiegler, Julio Correa, Jorge Siega, Joey Fink, Jerry Sularz, David Brcic, Jomo Sono, Wladyslaw Zmuda, José Oscar Bernardi, Seninho, Boris Bandov, Gordon Bradley, Robert Iarusci, Jeff Durgan, Roversio, Sebastian Guenzatti, Carlos Mendes, Ayoze, Raul Gonzalez.

Squad Explanation 
-- The signing of Pele in 1975 transformed the entire NASL.  Many other clubs followed their example by signingother star players.  Johan Cruyff, Gerd Muller, George Best, etc all played in the league,  Meanwhile, NY Cosmos would sign Giorgio Chinaglia, Fanz Beckenbaur, Carlos Alberto and Johan Neesken.  They are the obvious choices for my NY Cosmos All-Time team.
-- François Van der Elst (Belgium), Ramón Mifflin (Peru), Marinho Chagas (Brazil), Giuseppe Wilson (Italy) and Wim Rijsbergen (Netherlands) might not be as big of a star as Pele or Franz Beckenbauer.  They were very famous players.
-- Ricky Davis deserved to be on the team.  He was also selected because he was the only American-born star player in NASL and this was an American club.
-- Julio Cesar Romero arrived in New York as a 20 years old.  He later would become one of Paraguay's greatest players.
-- Goalkeeper Yasin Özdenak of Turkey was known as Erol Yasin in the United States. They are the same player.
-- Werner Roth was an all-star in 1975.
 -- I tried not to select player just because they are famous.  For example, Jomo Sono, Wladyslaw Zmuda and José Oscar Bernardi were not considered.  They only played a few games for the club.
-- Marcos Senna is selected as symbolic gesture to link the NY Cosmos (2013-2016) to the past. I also put Roversio, Carlos Mendes, Sebastian Guenzatti, Ayoze and Raul on the "Honorabloe Mention list.
-- Raul came from retirement to play for the new NY Cosmos.  He won the Soccer Bowl in 2015 alongside Marcos Senna.
-- Randy Horton was a star player before the signing of Pele.  Horton was the top scorer in 4 seasons. I wanted to select someone who played for the club before Pele.  It is the similar reason why I selected Marcos Senna to this all-time team.
-- Siegfried Stritzl and John Kerr Sr also played for them before the influx of star players from the world.  They were selected as symbolic for the club before the NASL became glamorous.  John Kerr Sr's son would play for the United States in the 1990's.
-- Andranik Eskandarian can play in multi-positions.  He was also known for playing in the 1978 World Cup Finals for Iran.  His son also represented the United States.



  1. Steve Hunt should be included.
    He played 3 seasons with Cosmos and they won the Soccer Bowl in each of them (77,78,82).

  2. Özdenak
    Rijsbergen C.Alberto Beckenbauer Eskandarian
    Romerito Bogićević
    Cabañas Pelé
    Horton Chinaglia–1985)_all-stars