Allow me to explain the Curse that has fallen upon the MetroStars: Back on August 12, 1984, the Cosmos, in their final NASL season, hosted an international friendly at Giants Stadium against Juventus of Italy in front of a crowd of 36,724. The Cosmos beat Juventus by a score of 2-1 on goals by Americans Steve Moyers and Ricky Davis. Among those In the lineup for Juventus were Paolo Rossi and Michel Platini. But here's where the Curse begins: The player wearing number 13 for the men of Turin that day was none other than.............(wait for it)..........Nicola Caricola! Yes, it's true. Caricola was a second-half sub for Juventus in that game against the Cosmos. And I've always figured that the Cosmos-Caricola Curse went something like this (I'm imagining this might have been Caricola's own words): "What a travesty and injustice! Not only do we have to waste our precious pre-season time playing these stinkin' American glamour-boys, but we LOSE to them! And not only THAT, but I, the Great Caricola, have to start the game ON THE BENCH! NO, this is not acceptable! I am ENRAGED! I am SO enraged that I will put a curse on them! First, I will destroy this Cosmos team. By the end of this season, this team will have played its final game! Second, I will destroy their ENTIRE league! The NASL will be no more! Third, there will be no professional Division I soccer in this country for at least a decade! Fourth, when a new league finally returns, the Cosmos name and tradition will be no more, and will be replaced by the stupidest name in professional sports history! Something like "New York/New Jersey MetroStars!" Then, I will come to play for this new Giants Stadium team, AND I WILL DESTROY THEM, TOO! A championship team will NEVER return to New Jersey until Juventus avenges this catastrophic loss against the Cosmos! Only when Juventus beats the Cosmos will I lift this horrible curse! The Great Caricola has spoken! Damn you all to hell!" I figured that if Juventus had beaten Manchester United back in July at Giants Stadium, that might have chipped away at the Curse a bit, but no such luck, it seems. So, two things have to happen in order for the Curse to go away: 1) The team must re-brand itself. It must make peace with Peppe Pinton and buy the Cosmos name and logo. 2) The team, after the re-branding, must invite Juventus to play here...and lose. THAT is the story: It's the Cosmos-Caricola Curse.