Friday, August 5, 2011

The Birth of the Crotchmos, Tailored by Umbro

The Theatre of Dreams has proven a nightmare for those who care for the history of New York soccer. The much heralded "rebirth of the Cosmos," after twenty-five years hiatus, ends a 6-0 disgrace. After the slaughter of MLS sides last month, I didn't anticipate Manchester United playing with similar intensity. They didn't. But the hastily assembled squad of retirees and amateur youth players failed to provide competition for the Paul Scholes Testimonial.

Bad enough they dared field a squad without first doing so in New York. But to put a squad in their Umbro uniforms to be so horribly embarassed is the biggest warning sign yet that this management group, with their collective questionable track records, are ill equipped to write chapters that preserve the legacy of quality that best typifies the storied franchise.

Heading into this match, I didn't know what to expect, thinking the marketing spectacle would be played at a respectable friendly pace. Yes, United are a powerful force. But neither the six goals scored nor the shutout required much luck or effort. This was a side that dared to represent New York but proved itself woefully unworthy. When the sixth goal was scored, I realized how much it hurt to see what's become of my childhood team, or more properly its brand.

A good friend, who played a prominent and vital front office role with the Cosmos, told me the other day he "found the whole thing disgusting" and that he doesn't "enjoy vomiting." That's just how I felt seeing a team call itself the Cosmos get beaten this bad. "They're not your club anymore," my wife consoled.

A shame to see the likes of Vieira, Pires and McBride come on in such circumstances. A shame to see the colors of my childhood team disgraced on the pitch by a club I despise. A shame this group paid Pinton's ransom and a shame to think what will be left of the legacy when they're gone.

Not to be confused with a revival of the first New York NASL team/brand, the New York Generals, who played at Yankee Stadium in 1967 and 1968, another great friend (who took his son with him to London and saw the Bulls lift the Emirates Cup) calls the side that lost today at Old Trafford "the Washington Generals of soccer."

This fraud, tailored by Umbro, don't deserve to be called Cosmos. I've been calling them the Kemsmos, a word coined by a dear friend and most respected soccer writer, who I'm guessing doesn't want the vitriol directed his way if he was identified. As I railed at the disgrace, I overheard my youngest say to my eldest, "ManU are turning us into the Crotchmos." This was indeed, to cite the Police, "a humiliating kick in the crotch." So Crotchmos it is.

The real New York soccer club played twice in England this past week. Some call them Metro but most call them the Red Bulls. They made history and they made us proud.
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