Rocco Commisso buys control of New York Cosmos

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NEW YORK (AP) Rocco B. Commisso, the chief executive of Mediacom Communications Corp. and a former soccer player at Columbia, has purchased majority ownership of the North American Soccer League’s New York Cosmos and will become the club’s chairman.

The Cosmos relaunched with the second-tier league in 2013 under CEO Seamus O’Brien and won titles in 2013, 2015 and 2016. The league is contracting from 12 teams last fall to eight this year.

The 67-year-old Commisso was co-captain of Columbia’s 1970 team that made the Lions’ first appearance in the NCAA playoffs, and the university’s soccer stadium was named after him in 2013.

Featuring Pele, Franz Beckenbauer and Giorgio Chinaglia, the Cosmos played in the old NASL from 1971-84 and folded in 1985.