Cosmos To Return In 2017

New York Cosmos midfielder Ruben Bover (15) is congratulated after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Rowdies during the first half at James M. Shuart Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Cosmos will be back in 2017.

After weeks of speculation over the future of the defending North American Soccer League champions, as well as the league itself, the team on Friday announced that the green and white will live on.

“The New York Cosmos can confirm full participation in the 2017 North American Soccer League season,” said Erik Stover, the team’s chief operating officer. “The affirmation of Division II status for the NASL allows us to move forward with confidence. We have a lot of work to do in a short amount of time including signing players and rebuilding our roster. That work begins in earnest now. We will have more information about the club and our year ahead in the coming days.”

As referenced in Stover’s statement, the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors granted provisional Division II status to the NASL and United Soccer League (USL) for the 2017 season.

According to a statement from U.S. Soccer, while neither league meets all the standards set forth by U.S. Soccer, the board granted provisional Division II status and will work with the leagues on a pathway to full compliance. The board also determined that the leagues will be required to meet additional criteria

While the Cosmos’ future was in doubt, several players from the 2016 team have signed with other clubs. As Stover mentioned, new players will need to be signed and a home field will also be needed. The Cosmos’ relationship with Hofstra University having ended, it has been rumored that the team will play its home games at MCU Park in Brooklyn, home of the New York Mets minor league team the Brooklyn Cyclones. However, no official announcement has been made.