The MLS, apparently not satisfied with the New York-iness of the Harrison, New Jersey-dwelling New York Red Bulls, has long wanted to stick a professional soccer team in the actual metropolitan area. Establishing a franchise wouldn't be too tough — the Sela group, the one that owns the rights to the ol' "New York Cosmos" name, is considered a front-runner. It's finding a place to put them that might be tricky. According to Jack Bell of the Times, MLS commissioner Jack Garber feels strongly about placing the team in New York's "urban core."
That rules out some contending locations:
Belmont Park is out. Long Island is out. Did we already mention Staten Island? Out. The financially challenged Wilpon family and the Mets? Not likely. Did someone whisper Pier 40 on the Hudson River? Bet that would go over big with local residents! Willets Point, the tumbledown area near Citi Field in Flushing, is targeted for redevelopment, but any plans there could be delayed years by litigation.
So ... where? Is New York hiding any vast expanses in which one could stick a soccer stadium? The legal obstacles with pretty much any location would be daunting. The old Cosmos, if you're wondering, moved from Yankee Stadium to Hofstra Stadium to the old Downing Stadium on Randall's Island to their eventual long-term home of Giants Stadium. A commenter on Bell's post suggests that returning to Randall's Island (now home to Icahn Stadium) would be a good spot, and that sounds pretty cool to me, too.
Can you think of anything else? Seen any large fields lying around in your travels? Would they consider playing at the BOTTOM OF THE HUDSON!? This might take some cleverness to get done, but it sure would be cool to have a pro soccer franchise in — in — town again.