Get your olé of the land. Long Island’s New York Cosmos soccer club is playing a one-night-only game against the hated Ottawa Fury at MCU Park in Coney Island on May 2. So we talked to two of the team’s biggest fan clubs, the Borough Boys and the Cross-Island Crew, to bring you a step-by-step guide on how to be the biggest Cosmos fan in the cosmos — for one glorious afternoon only.
In their home stadium, Cosmos supporters rally in a fan section dubbed “Five Points” for the historic Manhattan neighborhood. They’re bringing the Points to MCU Park’s bleacher section on May 2, and it is the only place for a newly-minted die-hard fan to stand (fans don’t sit). And be ready to get really close with your new allies, one super fan said.
“We stand very tight — there might be 200 people standing in the space of a couple parking spots,” said Kevin Odell of the Cross-Island Crew.
Your main goal is to be as loud as possible. Show your home-team-for-a-day that it has captured your heart — if only for a few hours.
Supporters have a slew of chants set to well-known tunes like “Yankee Doodle,” “When the Saints Go Marching In,” and “Maple Leaf Rag,” which you can pick up on the sidelines. Learn them, live them, and bring some cough drops, because you’ll be singing a lot, supporters said.
“We sing for 90 minutes and we’ll keep singing after the game,” Odell said.
“And if the other team scores, we just sing louder,” said the Borough Boys’ Nick Laveglia.
You’re not just cheering — you’re mounting a sensory assault. Come armed with signs poking fun at the other team or offer to carry one of the many banners the Borough Boys and the Cross-Island Crew roll with. One hardcore Long Islander brings a giant cardboard cutout of Pele’s head, because the legendary Brazilian played for another iteration of the Cosmos in the 1970s and is now the club’s honorary president. But that guy might not show up to the Brooklyn game, Odell said, so come with your own cutout of the soccer phenomenon’s dome, and you’ll likely be welcomed with open arms.
If you don’t have a Cosmos jersey, hang your head in shame and wear anything green — the team’s color. There is not a lot of face-painting or costume-wearing among Cosmos supporters, but a scarf is a nice touch, Laveglia said.
“You’ll see a lot of scarves — that’s a big thing for soccer, especially in Europe,” he said.
Really, if you show up at all and can handle a little red-card-worthy banter, you’ll be an honorary Cosmos fan, supporters said.
“We welcome anybody who wants to join in our culture — you might hear some colorful language but we’re a very inclusive group,” Laveglia said. “As long as you’re wearing green and rooting for the Cosmos, we welcome you.”
New York Cosmos vs. Ottowa Fury at MCU Park (1904 Surf Ave. between W. 18th and W. 19th streets in Coney Island, www.nycos