The New York Cosmos are breaking the mold, the NASL champions looking to ensure their future. Metro has learned the club has received academy status via US Soccer.
In a move expected to be announced this week, sources say the Cosmos have achieved the highest recognition for their youth system that the national soccer federation can hand out. The academy status label will let the Cosmos start their own system designed to be a pipeline to their 'B Team' (reserves) up to their storied first team.
The process to become recognized began in the summer of 2014 and they now have the greenlight for an U-12 program that will be fully recognized by US Soccer. The development of their own academy system – the Cosmos currently have 19 affiliate teams in the area but not their own team – was done in the words of one team source as "the next step in the growth of the club."
Internationally and increasingly so in the United States, the academy system is becoming a feeder to first teams. This allows for young talent to be bled into the system, talent that was developed and groomed to play their way.
The source said that the application is currently pending with US Soccer for U-13 and U-14 teams. The academy will start with boys teams with the source saying that the club does envision a similar system for a girls set-up in the future.
Interestingly with the club's long-term vision its own soccer-specific stadium, the source said that at some point the idea is to develop a residency academy program as part of the stadium development.
Last month, the Cosmos won their second Soccer Bowl in three years, lifting the trophy before a sold-out crowd at Shuart Stadium in Long Island.