The club folded in 1985 but were relaunched in August by former Tottenham director Paul Kelmsey. Cantona's new club don't yet have a team or a stadium yet but they are hopeful of playing in some tournaments and exhibitions before rejoining the MLS.
Cantona said: "It's a wonderful project. It's kind of a mix between football and art.
"The Cosmos are very strong, beautifully made, with a great past," added Cantona. "I will do everything that I can to help us first find our way to regain the number one position in the United States, and then for us to become one of the best clubs in the world over the coming years."
In a statement announcing Cantona's appointment, the Cosmos said the Frenchman would provide "innovative leadership" and "cutting-edge creativity" as they attempt to establish themselves once again.
Another former Premier League player, Cobi Jones, who played for Coventry between 1994 and 1995, will work alongside Cantona as associate director of soccer.