Monday, June 5, 2017

NY Cosmos All-Time Team

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

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, but they were unable to secure a franchise with the MLS.

Pele and the star-studded 

Team
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)
He started his career with İstanbulspor A.Ş. and Galatasaray before he joined NY Cosmos in 1977 where he was known as as Erol Yasin. He was capped by Turkey 6 times.

GK: Shep Messing (USA)
Messing played college soccer with Harvard and New York University.  He joined the U.S. national team that played in the 1971 Pan American Games in Cali, Colombia. He went on to play with the U.S. team at 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 team in Mexico.  His goal in the Final was considered one of the greatest goals in the history of the tournament. He missed the WC 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)
He 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 (Holland)
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)
He 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)
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

CB: Giuseppe Wilson (Italy)
Born in the UK to a British father and an Italian mother, Wilson was among the greatest ever defender for Lazio.  He played 10 seasons with them winning the 1973-1974 Serie A title.  Capped twice.

LB: Marinho Chagas (Brazil)
Marinho Chagas was a top leftback during the 1970's and was known as being a right-footed leftback.  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. 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. Capped over 50 times.  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. He was a six-time all-star selection, including three first-team selections (Vancouver in '77, Chicago in '79, Toronto in '84).

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. In 1977, he left the Cosmos but was first named as NASL all–star in 1976.

CM: Johan Neeskens (Holland)
He was considered to be one of the greatest Dutch midfielders. He led Holland to two second place finish at the WC Finals in 1974 and 1978.  He was Holland's top scorer at the 1974 World Cup.  He also won three straight European Cups with Ajax. He also played with NY Cosmos.


CM: Ramón Mifflin (Peru)
He played with Centro Iqueño and Sporting Cristal in Peru. He then started in the 1970 FIFA World Cup for Peru.  After the World Cup, he was signed by Racing Club of Argentina, and followed by Santos of Brazil where he became a close friend of Pelé. When Pele signed for the New York Cosmos, he recommended Ramon Mifflin to come. In 1975, Mifflin signed with the Cosmos and remained with the team until 1977.  He also played with the Los Angeles Aztecs and New York Eagles. Mifflin made 44 appearances for Peru.

CM: John Kerr Sr (Scotland/Canada)
Kerr began his professional career with Partick Thistle in Scotland. before he emigrated to Toronto.  He signed with the Detroit Cougars of the NASL in 1968. In 1969, he joined the Washington Darts where they moved up to the NASL in 1970. He also played for New York Hota of the German American Soccer League 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 where he was part of five Yugoslav league winning teams. Throughout his time at Red Star he was known by nickname Bleki. In January 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. Bogićević was inducted into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame on 14 October 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 R.S.C. 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 (4–2) and, in the following season's league, was crowned the competition's top scorer at 21 goals, as the Brussels side finished in second position. He also played for NY Cosmos and West Ham.  He was capped 44 times and went to Euro 1980.

LW: Dennis Tueart (England)
Tueart began his career with Sunderland. Following their relegation in 1969–70 the Black Cats tried in vain to gain a quick return to the First Division but found success in the FA Cup winning the competition in 1973 by beating Leeds United 1–0. In 1974, he signed for Manchester City and was part of the winning team in the 1976 League Cup final. He moved to the United States to join the New York Cosmos, where he not only won Soccer Bowl '78, but was named man of the match for netting two goals in the Cosmos' 3–1 victory over Tampa Bay. He re-signed for Manchester City in 1980.  He also played for Stoke City, Burnley and Irish club Derry Cit.

AM: Julio Cesar Romero (Paraguay)
He was considered the best outfielder in Paraguay's history.  He earnjed 32 caps.  He led Paraguay to qualify for the WC in 1986.  He was South American Player of the Year in 1985. For domestic football, he played for many clubs, but his two most famous stints were with NY Cosmos and Fluminense.  He was a big idol with the Brazilian club.

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.  He turned down offers from England to play English County cricket and Football League and football for Huddersfield Town. He represented Bermuda national cricket team five times between 1969 and 1980. He signed with the New York Cosmos as was named NASL Rookie of the Year and First Team all-star for the 1971 season. After the 1972 season Horton was offered a contract with Queens Park Rangers. Horton decided to remain with Cosmos and complete his master's degree at Rutgers University. Horton played two more summers with the Cosmos before being traded to the Washington Diplomats. After a season in Washington, 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.
Pele
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)
Lazio voted him as their greatest player.  In 1973-1974, he led the league in scoring as Lazio won the scudetto. Later, he received a lot of name recogination when he played for NY Cosmos. He was one of the few players who played in NASL during their prime.
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, Rau.

Squad Explanation 
-- Andranik Eskandarian can play in multi-positions.
-- Yasin Özdenak was known as Erol Yasin in the United States.
-- Siegfried Stritzl, Randy Horton John Kerr Sr played for them before the inflex of star players from the world. Horton was the top scorer in 4 seasons.
-- 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.
-- 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.

Formation




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