On Friday I watched the first game played by the New York Cosmos proper since they announced their intention to be the 20th MLS team. I was privileged to be invited to Legends on West 33rd St by a Legend, one Frankie Fraser. Subway difficulties(Three women buying tickets galore in front of me) meant I got to the bar about 10 minutes before KO. I wasn't really sure what to expect but thought "It's 2.30pm on a weekday, surely won't be too many there".
As I went downstairs in the bar, I realised I was very wrong.
Congregated there were about 100 fans, the vast majority members of the supporters group "The Borough Boys". Everyone in the bar wore green (except me for shame) and unlike Baseball crowds for example, everyone was a hardcore fan. I saw Nick Laveglia, the leader and all round good guy, before catching up with Frankie and his buddy Brandon who also help run things. I couldn't stay the whole game but saw enough to realise that there's something happening here. There were great NYC based songs, passionate support for the Cosmos team and it felt like a proper football crowd.
What has all this got to do with Celtic?
Well, Nick is Celtic supporter, Frankie is a Celtic supporter and Brandon is a Celtic supporter. The Cosmos play in green and white. Their fans sing and look like The Green Brigade "New York's Green and White"
Shall I walk you through it again?
As I keep saying on this blog, Celtic have a massive support in New York, with guys like Frankie and Nick with a feel for how to work Celtic in New York. Similarly we have guys here like Chas Duffy in The Bronx, with The Bronx Bhoys, who recently handed over a $5000 check to The Celtic Charity Fund, who have a built up a living, breathing Celtic community here and guys like Jim McGinn, without doubt the respected face and voice of the New York CSC in The Parlour and Gary Haley who, along with people like the aforementioned Frankie, put Celtic on the map in Queens.
These five men could tell Celtic all they need to know about New York in about five minutes.
The question is, will they ever listen?