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Source: Cosmos considering their future in the NASL

Members of the New York Cosmos get ready

Members of the New York Cosmos get ready for the start of the penalty kick session after overtime during the NASL Championship against the Indy Eleven at Belson Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. Credit: Errol Anderson

The Cosmos’ future is in question. The team, which plays its home games at Hofstra, is considering its options and refuted a report that said the team was set to fold.

“The Cosmos have not ceased operations,” the team said Tuesday in a statement. “We are actively engaged in NASL league meetings that are taking place over the next couple of days.”

A person familiar with the Cosmos’ situation said a decision will be made after the North American Soccer League Board of Governors meetings end Wednesday in Atlanta. The person confirmed that the team’s front-office staff has been placed on a one-week furlough while management considers what to do next. The person asked not to be named because they were not authorized to speak on behalf of the team.

The person said the Cosmos want to hear the league’s plans following the departure of three of its 12 teams to competing leagues. One team left for the more established Major League Soccer while another two teams jumped to the United Soccer League.

“It doesn’t feel like it’s going in the right direction,” the person said of the league.

The Cosmos, who have won two consecutive NASL titles, are said to be considering sitting out for a year while the team searches for a new league.

The Cosmos returned in 2011 as the revival of the popular professional soccer team from the 1970s that once featured the soccer superstar Pele.

In 2013 the Cosmos submitted plans to build a $400-million, privately funded, 25,000-seat stadium at Belmont Park. But nearly four years have passed without a decision from the Empire State Development Corp., the state’s primary business-aid agency.

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