The New York Cosmos are back.

After a nearly 30-year absence, the Cosmos joined the North American Soccer League on Thursday. The team will begin league play in the 2013 season.

The former Cosmos team in the late 1970s featured soccer great Pele, who helped raise awareness of soccer in the United States. He led the Cosmos to the 1977 NASL championships in his third and final season.

NASL commissioner David Downs says the plan will "reunite the Cosmos, Strikers, Rowdies and several markets with ties to the NASL's early days."

The Cosmos ownership group is led by Seamus O'Brien. The team will announce details on its stadium, ticket sales and players at a later date.

The NASL includes professional teams in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.