After years of billboards, clothing line launches, and management drama, the New York Cosmos will finally return to what they were most known for: playing soccer. Cosmos Chairman Seamus O'Brien announced today that the Cosmos will be fielding a professional soccer team in 2013. But the team won't be playing in Major League Soccer—instead, they will play in the second division North American Soccer League.

O'Brien spoke about the connection between the Cosmos and many of the NASL teams in the statement: "The Cosmos have a celebrated history with the NASL and with its rebirth in recent years, our entry was the natural first step of our return. We look forward to playing the competitive and entertaining style of soccer that you will expect from us as we take on some of our biggest traditional rivals like the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers and Tampa Bay Rowdies. Our ultimate goal is to play at the very highest level and we feel today's announcement is the first step in that direction."

NASL Commissioner David Downs said in a statement: "We are extremely proud to welcome the New York Cosmos to the North American Soccer League...Bringing the Cosmos into the NASL is a logical next step as we embrace the heritage of our own past and now reunite the Cosmos, Strikers, Rowdies and several markets with ties to the NASL’s early days. Most importantly, we look forward to the Cosmos enhancing the quality of our league both on and off the field.”

Unfamiliar with the NASL? The league was founded in 2009 and currently features 8 teams, including the likes of the Atlanta Silverbacks and the Minnesota Stars. While there is no promotion and relegation between MLS and the NASL, teams from lower divisions are sometimes named as MLS expansion sides, as the Montreal Impact were for the 2012 season.

Those of you hoping that the trip to see the Cosmos would be shorter than a PATH ride to Harrison, brace yourselves: New York Times writer Jack Bell reported today that they would play at Hofstra University on Long Island. Having a soccer team actually in the five boroughs may have to wait until the MLS stadium proposal in Flushing Meadows gets worked through.