I grew up watching all sorts of sports, but my Italian half pulled harder and I have had a love affair with the beautiful game since I could remember. I love my “calcio” and I love my AS Roma (“giallorosso” – yellow-red – flows through my veins). When I was a wee-one I was only occasionally in Rome visiting family and always during times of the year when it was off-season for soccer (only when I moved to Rome after college did I become a season ticket holder).
So in New York I had the legendary New York Cosmos of Pelé, Beckenbauer, Carlos Alberto and Chinaglia fame (although the latter had played for loathsome Lazio – Roma’s derby rival) and went to games even as the franchise was inexorably declining following Pelé’s re-retirement. The franchise is again attempting to enter MLS as an expansion team and many people want to see it succeed and create a (hopefully lasting) rivalry with the Austrian-owned Red Bulls now playing across the river in New Jersey. I do hope they succeed for the good of soccer and for the good of New York City. In the meantime, I can do no more than show my support by wearing their colors (see Pelé’s replica jersey below) when kicking the ball around with my son in the park (they have also introduced a new Cosmos “Blackout” line of clothing by Umbro).