Peppe Pinton’s Ship Comes In! Cosmos to Return

Below is one of the funniest moments from the great documentary Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos.

It shows Peppe Pinton, a Giorgio Chinaglia functionary and former general manager of the fabled NASL side, which went under in 1984, asserting his “ownership” of the Cosmos name and logo.

Hilarity ensues when former Warner executives Jay Emmett and Ahmet Ertegun respond to Pinton’s claim:

But now, it appears that Pinton may be getting the last laugh, or at least a final chuckle: On Sunday, a group led by former Tottenham executive Paul Kemsley announced that it had purchased the rights to the name from Pinton and intend to restart the franchise.

They’ve named Pelé as honorary president and intend to join Major League Soccer in the next few years.

Here’s Joe Fraga, executive director of the reborn club, talking to the New York Times:

“Our plan has several phases, but if you fast-forward, it’s our aspiration to play at the highest level in this country and that’s M.L.S. And we are serious. We want to make it relevant again, we want kids to know what the Cosmos were and are, to bring the soccer dream back to the city.”

So the MLS expansion plan for the next three years looks like this:

2011: Vancouver Whitecaps, Portland Timbers (17th and 18th teams)

2012: Montreal Impact (19th)

2013: New York Cosmos?? (20th)

We say bring it on: a new franchise in New York would create an instant rivalry with the rising Red Bulls, attract more international-caliber players to MLS, and recall some of the glory years of American soccer, when Pele, Chinaglia, and Beckenbauer (not to mention Best, Cruyff and Muller) roamed U.S stadiums.

Here is one of the sickest goals of that period (or any), a flying backheel by oft-overlooked Cosmos star Roberto Cabanas of Paraguay: