11 January 2017

Kenya: Tycoon Saves Cosmos From Disbandment

Nairobi — American communication investor Rocco B. Commisso has acquired a majority stake at North American Soccer League giants New York Cosmos, home to Kenyan international David 'Cheche' Ochieng, saving it from the brink of collapse.

Commisso who is the Chairman and CEO of Mediacom Communications Corporation has purchased a majority ownership stake in the legendary American club and will become its new chairman.

The club which has won four North American Soccer League (NASL) titles in the last five years since its re-birth was facing an uncertain future due to the crisis in the NASL, and prompted the ownership to terminate the contracts of its playing staff.

However, with Comisso coming in the club will now be ready for the 2017 season.

"Like so many of our fantastic fans, I have followed the Cosmos since the fabulous days of Pelé, Chinaglia, Alberto, and Beckenbauer. With my deep roots in the New York City area as a former player, youth coach, and proud supporter of the Columbia University soccer program, I look forward to building on the rich history of America's most iconic soccer club," Comisso is quoted saying on the Cosmos official website.

Head coach Giovanni Savarese will continue with his duties at the club and he will try to reach out to most of his backroom staff who had already left the club at the close of the season.

"What happened after the championship has been very difficult. I cannot hide that. Some players were in a very difficult situation. I'm just glad that now they will be able to get paid. I'm glad that the Cosmos will be able to continue," admitted Savarese, speaking to empireofsoccer.com.

"We are trying to talk to the players to explain how the new era of this new ownership is trying to rebuild the club. We are fortunate that some of the guys have already accepted to come back, but definitely we have a lot of work and not a lot of time to be able to do it," he added.

Among the players set to return to the club is Ochieng who had also been caught in the web of uncertainty over the club's future.

"It was quite worrying to be honest but I am glad everything is sorted out. I am glad to be returning to New York and hopefully we get to continue being the best that we are," Ochieng told Capital Sport.

The defender joined Cosmos at the beginning of last year and though on a slow start, he managed to cut into Savarese's starting team and was a core figure as they went on to win their fourth NASL title late last year.


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