The Tampa Bay Rowdies and the New York Cosmos are two of the NASL's original teams. Both are considered iconic clubs of the league. This summer, the two will face off for the first time since the 1980's.
The Cosmos have been defunct for the last 28 years, but this summer they will return to the pitch.
Rowdies and Cosmos games were a big draw in Tampa back in the 70's and early 80's, drawing 50,000 to Tampa Stadium. Those matchups laid the foundation to make soccer a popular sport in the Bay Area.
Pele, the world's most recognizable player, was the face the Cosmos franchise. The Cosmos would draw up to 80,000 for home games at the Meadowlands.
Rowdies head coach Ricky Hills told FOX 13 Sports he's excited about this renewed rivalry.
"It would be great if we were both in the Super Bowl at the end of November," Hill told Kevin O'Donnell. "Coming back, they (Cosmos) are hoping to make a big impression. It's great to have something like that for American soccer. The name they have with the Rowdies playing those games, those darby or those big games against them.
The first matchup will be in St. Pete on August 10. It will be the Rowdies' home opener for the second half of the season.
"It's a throwback. It's a retro and I'm sure we still have supporters that remember the games from the first times around," Hill continued. "I'm hoping it can be just as exciting this second time."
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV 3213 West Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, Florida 33609 Main: (813) 876-1313 Newsroom: (813) 870-9630 Fax: (813) 871-3135