PELÉ TO ATTEND COSMOS’ FIRST HOME GAME OF THE YEAR
Hofstra University also set to award Cosmos’ Honorary President with honorary degree at International Conference during Opening Weekend NEW YORK (Feb. 11, 2014) – The New York Cosmos today announced that the club’s Honorary President Pelé will join the team for its first game of the 2014 NASL season on April 13 at Hofstra University’s Shuart Stadium. The Cosmos host the Atlanta Silverbacks in a rematch of last year’s title game. The Cosmos will hold a special pre-game trophy ceremony with Pelé, the current squad and the Soccer Bowl trophy. In addition to attending the opening match, Pelé will be awarded an honorary degree by Hofstra University for his humanitarian work and contributions to the sport. Pelé will be a guest as Hofstra hosts an international conference examining the historical, political and economic impact of soccer. The announcement was made by University President Stuart Rabinowitz on Monday.
The conference, “Soccer as the Beautiful Game: Football’s Artistry, Identity & Politics,” will bring together more than 100 scholars, journalists, players and coaches from 25 countries from April 10-13, 2014 for one of the largest academic symposiums ever convened about thesport in the United States. It is being presented in collaboration with more than a dozen academic and sports institutions, including the Cosmos, the Consulates General of South Africa and Brazil in New York and the United States Soccer Federation, which last year celebrated its 100th anniversary. Hofstra History professors Dr. Brenda Elsey and Dr. Stanislao Pugliese areco-directors.
Pelé, named “The Player of the 20th Century” by FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, and one of the “100 Most Influential People of the Century” by TIME magazine, also will be honored with a plaque in Hofstra University’s soccer stadium. He will address a youth symposium and a celebratory banquet on Friday, April 11, and participate in the ceremonial unveiling of his stadium plaque on Sunday, April 13.
“Pelé transformed and transcended the game of soccer,” Rabinowitz said. “While the world first came to know him for extraordinary athletic feats, his soccer career was, in many respects, simply a prelude to an extraordinary life of service as a philanthropist and advocate. He understands the power and responsibility his soccer legacy carries, and has used it to improve the lives of others.”
A native of Brazil, Pelé began his professional career at 16 with Santos Futebol Clube in the State of São Paulo and won his first World Cup a year later, quickly racking up records that still stand today. He is the only player to win three World Cups and remains the sport’s all-time leading scorer with 1283 career goals.
Since his retirement from soccer, Pelé has focused on philanthropic work. He is a United Nations ambassador for ecology and the environment, a Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO, and was awarded Brazil’s Gold Medal for outstanding service to the sport for pioneering anti-corruption legislation. He was bestowed with an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II. A Pelé Museum is slated to open later this year in Santos, to coincide with Brazil’s hosting of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
About the Cosmos
The New York Cosmos began play in 1971, spending 14 seasons in the North American Soccer League, winning five Soccer Bowl trophies and bringing some of the biggest names in world soccer to the USA. This included Pelé, Franz Beckenbauer, Giorgio Chinaglia and Carlos Alberto. It had been nearly 30 years since the Cosmos, an iconic global soccer club, have played in a professional league. Yet throughout their absence, the club maintained a loyal and dedicated fan following. On Aug. 3, 2013, the New York Cosmos returned to the NASL with a sell-out win at Hofstra University’s Shuart Stadium, before embarking on a season that would see the Cosmos win the 2013 North American Soccer League Fall Season. The club closed out its inaugural season by winning the 2013 Soccer Bowl with a 1-0 victory against the Atlanta Silverbacks on Nov. 9, 2013 at Atlanta Silverbacks Park, Atlanta, GA. The championship is the sixth NASL title in the club’s history. The Cosmos also submitted a privately-funded economic development proposal in 2013 to the State of New York to build a world-class 25,000-seat professional soccer stadium at Belmont Park. More information about the proposal and renderings can be found at www.newcosmosstadium.com.
For more information on the New York Cosmos, please visit www.newyorkcosmos.com, join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @NYCosmos. Tickets for the 2014 season are also now available by calling 855-71-COSMOS or via the club’s official website. ---www.nycosmos.com---
Contacts: Jen Chang (212) 369-7000 – Jen@nycosmos.com
David Hochman (212) 369-7000 – DavidH@nycosmos.com