The NY Cosmos enter the match as we all know at the top of the table in the NASL. Minnesota is actually sitting right behind the Cosmos in a three way tie for second place. The United would want nothing more than to take 3 points from the Cosmos and make valuable ground on them with only 4 games left after tonight. One thing that we know for sure tonight as a Cosmos fan, our team will remain in first no matter what happens. Of course it would be better if we could maintain our 4 point cushion or more. But having a one point lead is an ok consolation prize in my opinion.
Not until their last away game, the Cosmos had found little success on the road. But it seems that coach Gio Savarese has found a winning formula with some of his players. The play of Paulo Mendes invigorated the team last week against Tampa Bay and might spell less playing time for Sebastian Guenzatti who is coming back from a one game suspension due to a red card against Ft. Lauderdale. Diomar Diaz has been brilliant for the Cosmos and I would expect to see more of the same from him against Minnesota. Additionally Peri Marosevic has been getting looks all year and he was able to finally convert last week against the Rowdies. He had not scored since the season opener against the Strikers. There were some buzz about whether Stefan Dmitrov was attacking the goal enough during the last couple of games. Will the return of Guenzatti spell some bench time for Dmitrov? The one thing that always does remain constant for the Cosmos it seems is the solid all round play of midfielder Marco Senna. Expect nothing less from him tonight and possibly, another goal from him.
The biggest question going into this game for the Cosmos has to be their defense, particularly the play of Kyle Reynish. Almost lost in the glory of their last win against the Rowdies is how Reynish just didn’t look comfortable in goal against the Rowdies. He came out of goal several times against the Rowdies and two of those times gave up a goal. Some may blame the defense for allowing a dangerous opportunity to create itself, but for a goalie, if you’re going to leave the goal, you should always come up with the ball in your hand. The Cosmos did make a move to sign former Seattle Sounders goalie Bryan Meredith. Will he be seeing some time in goal for the team? This fan thinks Reynish will stay in the game until he at least gives up a goal. Let us not forget however that Reynish does have three clean sheets- that’s gotta count for something right?
All eyes on Minnesota tonight in the NASL. Will the Cosmos catapult further into first place or will the United close the gap in the hunt for a trip to the Soccer Bowl in Atlanta?