Give this to the New York Cosmos: For a team that hasn't played a competitive match in more than 25 years, they continue to find ways to make news. The latest bit of news to come out of the front-runners to become the 20th MLS soccer team is the signing of former United States international and ex-Los Angeles Galaxy assistant coach Cobi Jones as the associated director of soccer.
Unlike previous "news" such as their supposed attempts to sign the likes of Ryan Giggs and form a Globetrotter-esque touring team or the release of their jersey, this at least seems like something relatively serious. Luring away Jones, who had played more than 300 matches for the Galaxy and had been his main employer since the founding of MLS in 1996, is no small feat. Jones is a respected figure in the U.S. soccer community and would only seem to be joining the Cosmos if he thinks they are serious about pursuing bigger and better things.
"The New York Cosmos have a history of associating ourselves with the best," said Paul Kemsley, Chairman of The New York Cosmos, in a statement. "Cobi Jones fits perfectly into the DNA of this club. We look forward to the impact that he will have on this organization and on the players who will form the backbone of our future."
Since Kemsley, a former Tottenham vice chairman, bought the team's rights from former NASL Cosmos general manager Peppe Pinton, the team has significantly increased its presence. Among the actual soccer-related moves is starting academies on both coasts. But until the signing of Jones, most of what they've been doing is better classified as "hype" such as releasing promotional videos and the like or hiring former Cosmos player Giorgio Chanaglia as their "international ambassador."