The lingering question about what the New York Cosmos intended to do for the 2020 season was answered today. And truly, it was the organization's only choice.
It was reported today by Chris Kivlehan of Midfield Press that the New York Cosmos submitted its application for admission to NISA (National Independent Soccer Association) with the intent to start its inaugural season in the fall of 2020. The deadline to apply in time to play next year is November 1st.
NISA's governance board will meet by mid-November to review their application. Frontrow Soccer's Michael Lewis reports that the "...overall approval process includes an application review by the board of governors, the team’s owners, a presentation by the prospective club and a vote."
If a decision in the affirmative is made by NISA, USSF would then vet the Cosmos for fitness as a D3 organization. The antitrust lawsuit filed on behalf of NASL by Rocco Commisso against the USSF continues. It is unknown what effect this will have on the USSF's vetting process, but the Cosmos would appear to meet all high-level requirements surrounding ownership share, wealth and venue size. Both the Cosmos organization and NISA have not commented on this announcement.
NISA, itself carrying only a provisional D3 sanction, is rumored to include member club organizations hesitant about the New York Cosmos application, in light of its history with USSF. Other clubs have been said to be advocates, including most that transitioned to NISA from the NPSL Members Cup tournament and nascent Founders Cup.
Cosmos fans have had their hopes lifted, and with hope comes demands for answers. Will it be back to MCU, as so many clamor for? How will the front office change in light of D3 PLS requirements around staffing levels, and what will this increase in support mean for the club's footprint and engagement in the coming year? How will this postseason period be different than those of the past two years, when the club floated through with the lightest of presence. Important questions, but premature. Let's get through this vetting process as quickly as possible, but let's also spend this time imagining more about 'how' and less about 'if'.
This is a developing story. More to come.