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Cosmos soccer clinic out of this world

The Brooklyn Paper
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These kids kicked for the stars.

Youngsters from all over the city huddled up at Washington Park in Park Slope on Sept. 16 to get schooled by soccer pros at a back-to-school clinic put on by the New York Cosmos pro team. The clinic gave pint-sized athletes the thrill of playing with the big dogs while also teaching them to work together, a spokesman for the Long Island team said.

“This was an opportunity for them to get together and learn ways to succeed through hard work and teamwork,” said Rafael Morffi, director of marketing for the Cosmos.

Tykes in attendance ran drills with Cosmos coaches and trainers, as well as with Cosmos player Stefan Dimitrov, a forward from Bulgaria who stuck around afterward to sign autographs.

The World Cup has come and gone, but Morffi said soccer is seeing a renaissance in the United States, which he dates back to the 1994 World Cup that was held in nine cities across the country, including Giants Stadium in New Jersey.

“Compared to the 1980s and the early ’90s, it’s been a quantum leap,” he said.

The Cosmos started playing last year as part of the North American League, which formed in 2009 when teams broke away from the United Soccer Leagues. The Cosmos currently play at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, but they are trying to get a stadium built beside the famed Belmont Park Race Track.

The team resurrected the Cosmos name held by the earlier team that played from 1970 to 1985, rocketing to fame in 1975 with the signing of legendary Brazilian player Pele.

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at nhurowitz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Jay from NYC says:
I love this game, I really do but I have a real problem with both MLS and the NASL (BP you incorrectly id'd the league the Cosmos play in as the North American League, which is a baseball league, not even the right sport, another bad job by you) as both engage in what, in my opinion, is racial discrimination in violation of title VII of the civil rights act.
I don't know if the NASL is still doing this, they are in their third year of play and for the first year right on their rules section of their website they stated, in my opinion, was a discriminatory policy.
I also am not sure exactly what rules MLS is using these days, but as recently as 2009 they too were engaging in what I consider discriminatory practices.
There is also the ongoing issue with the MLS team Chivas USA (the playin Carson California) which has been reported had a policy of discriminating against non-mexican players, and MLS has utterly failed at properly addressing any of those issues in anything resembling a timely fashion.
I want to support these leagues, and I want the sport to grow in this country, but because of these polices, and shameful actions, I just can't.
If you want to read more about this there is a good review of the issues at http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=15&ved=0CEQQFjAEOAo&url=http%3A%2F%2Fworks.bepress.com%2Fcontext%2Fn_jeremi_duru%2Farticle%2F1000%2Ftype%2Fnative%2Fviewcontent&ei=MVMbVJDmG5DgsATEuYKIDg&usg=AFQjCNFqGq2ojJ6S3FYLtnExsf1fDOmxIA
Sept. 18, 2014, 5:20 pm

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