front office believes?
The Cosmos pose an interesting dilemma for soccer writers, pundits and analysts. Interestingly, it's one not seen presently or in many years with any of the other four mainstream sports in the U.S.
Arguably, the U.S. has only one global soccer power at this point, the Los Angeles Galaxy. Calling the Galaxy a global power is very tough to do considering it has never won CONCACAF Champions League, but there is an argument to be made if one considers its ability to sign top-flight designated players and be an attractive destination with great year-round weather. (See TMZ effects MLS.)
The Cosmos want what the Galaxy has, but they want to do it unconventionally. They are betting they can market the team effectively while playing in the NASL, soccer's Division II.
It's been said by the commissioner of NASL that his league does not consider itself Division II, rather, it is a professional league without borders.
By signing Raúl, the Cosmos have sent a message. They want to be up to the challenge. They want to be a destination team.
Raul is 37 years old and mainly joining the Cosmos to get coaching experience. But, he is a legend. He's scored a ridiculous amount of goals in his career, mostly with Real Madrid.
There are rumors of various other known names being considered as possible future players with the Cosmos. And, their stadium proposal has been submitted for Elmont, N.Y.
What this means for soccer writers/analysts is that the Cosmos become subjective. If a writer/analyst believes they are to be taken serious as a pro soccer team in the U.S. at the same level as MLS teams, then he/she must include them equally in any reference being made to MLS. Thus, when writing, sentences may end up being written to include the Cosmos-for example in the article I wrote on 'Muslim Strife' May Cause Defections to MLS-I could have written 'to MLS and/or the N.Y. Cosmos'.
(Incidentally, when making reference to pro soccer in the U.S., I have on occasion recently written the Cosmos equally to MLS in articles, but not in titles of articles.)
Most of the reputation of the Cosmos with the media will depend on performance. They won the NASL Soccer Bowl in their first year of their new existence in 2013, which was good. Ultimately, though, it will probably take a U.S. Open Cup title to sway a good portion of the media to the notion of the Cosmos on equal footing with MLS.
The NASL's reputation can be enhanced greatly this year with soccer media if one of its teams can win either the U.S. Open Cup or the (Amway) Canadian Championship and thus gain an automatic entry to Champions League. If this were to happen, it improves the Cosmos profile even if they are not the winner.
If the Cosmos are not winning the U.S. Open Cup, then, they would have to prove their worth in CONCACAF Champions League. But, this would require a change in format, which could only come about if there is an automatic bid for a New York team or an NASL team in the future.