Huge crowds came to the games played at Giants Stadium. However, it all fell apart quickly. The team disbanded in 1985.
The word "cosmopolitan" was intended as part of the team nickname, but no, the soccer team was not related to Cosmopolitan (the women's magazine).
5 February 1971, New York Times, pg. 14:
New York Soccer Club
Is Nicknamed Cosmos
Cosmos became the nickname yesterday for New York's entry in the North American Soccer League. The name was chosen from 3,000 entries filed in a contest conducted throughout the metropolitan area.
The winning name was submitted by two coaches at Martin Van Buren High School in Queens. The coaches, Meyer Diller and Al Cappelli, won a trip to Europe in April.
Diller and Capelli (sic) said that they had two reasons for entering the name Cosmos. THey felt that since the word cosmos means the universe, the nickname sets a high standard for the team. They also felt that cosmos, as part of the word cosmopolitan - which means, belonging to all parts of the world - tended to give the nickname an all-embracing connotation.
19 February 1971, Washington Post, pg. D3:
The New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League announced today that they had signed a lease to play their home games at Yankee Stadium.
18 April 1971, New York Times, pg. S9:
COSMOS WIN, 2-1,
IN LEAGUE DEBUT
23 June 1985, New York Times, pg. S6:
1970 - Franchise awarded to Warner Communications by the North American Soccer League for $25,000 and team started operations in 1971, playing home games at Yankee Stadium.
1975 - Signed Pele, June 10. He played his first game at Downing Stadium on Randalls Island five days later.
1985 - Club dropped out of M.I.S.L. in February, then was expelled by N.A.S.L. in March; announced a schedule of international matches in April and folded Friday after playing three of 11 games.
20 April 2001, New York Times, pg. D9:
Pele May Get Involved
With a Cosmos Revival
By ALEX YANNIS
The Cosmos could be revived in one of two forms. They could operate as an all-star team, which they were when they folded in 1985, a year after the N.A.S.L. had gone out of business. Or they could become a second New York metropolitan area team in Major League Soccer.