Soccer is back in Brooklyn!
That was the message heard loud and clear at the New York Cosmos rally at Brooklyn Bridge Park Soccer Field where players, coaches and elected officials gathered in advance to celebrate the team’s highly anticipated very first match in the borough at MCU Park on Saturday, May 2 at 7 p.m. against the Ottawa Fury.
“We’re very proud to play here,” said Cosmos player Carlos Mendes. “On behalf of all the players, it’s exciting to have the opportunity to play in Brooklyn. I grew up on Long Island so I realize how much soccer means to this community. We’re happy to be able to play in front of the fans of this borough.”
Borough President Eric Adams, who was later given a few soccer tips by Cosmos players, understands the significance of the sport in Brooklyn. “Soccer has grown so much in Brooklyn. Any given Saturday, you’ll go to the neighborhood parks and you’ll see our young people engaged in the sport,” he said. “No other sport personifies the energy of diversity more than soccer. From all the different continents, they all emerge on the field and enjoy the game.”
General Manager of MCU Park, Steve Cohen, has tried to provide a wide range of events that take place at the popular Coney field. Just last September, MCU Park played host to the Experimental Football League.
“Since we started in 2001, and since we replaced the turf after Superstorm Sandy, we wanted to do as many different events and involve as many people from the community as possible,” Cohen said. “I think this is just another step after baseball and football and some of the other things we’re doing to broaden the use of MCU Park.”
Chairperson of the National Premier Soccer League Joe Barone, a Dyker Heights resident, stressed the importance of bringing professional soccer to Coney.
“This is the ultimate honor, to have the Cosmos play at MCU Park. What I can say about this special event is that Brooklyn is the borough which has the most soccer played in all the five boroughs. Kings County is flourishing with the sport,” he said, adding that he hopes the Cosmos’ one-time visit could one day expand. “I would hope that the Cosmos could eventually play full time here in Brooklyn. Steve Cohen and I have worked on this for many years.”
“We are extremely excited. We know this is a popular place for soccer so it’s a going to be a great day for us to be able to play here,” said Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese, who once lived in Brooklyn Heights. “The turf is nice. The surface is fantastic.”
For tickets to the historic match, visit www.nycosmos.com.