Looking back at the standings four weeks found the Cosmos sitting in 4th place and looking up at the leaders in the NASL race to Atlanta. However after last night, the NASL standings took on a complete green and white look and feel to them. The Cosmos played their 7th consecutive non-losing match last night in Minnesota with a 1-0 win over the Minnesota United. The win, also their 4th win in a row, put the Cosmos a full 7 points in front of the entire league with only 4 weeks left in the season. With Tampa Bay losing to the Ft. Lauderdale Strikes and Carolina losing today to the Edmonton Eddies, no one else had a chance to reach higher than 14 points and thus make ground on the Cosmos in the standings. The Cosmos with their win, jumped to 21 points.
The Cosmos can thank Paulo Mendes for their victory Saturday night in what was a very well played, defensive battle. The only score of the game would come in the 53rd minute when a pass to Stefan Dmitrov would take an errant bounce that fortunately landed in front of Paulo Mendes. Mendes unleashed a powerful strike from about 15 yards out on the right wing that could not be saved. This was Paulo’s second straight game with a goal after he had missed some earlier matches due to injury. In addition to his goal Mendes had some good opportunities to score on other chances, but those were saved brilliantly by the United’s goalie Van Oekle. It seems that the Cosmos are starting to cross the ball alot better than they were earlier in the season. Marcos Senna again made brilliant passes but recently Ayoze has been finding Mendes for several changes in front of the goal. For the Cosmos, the timing could not have been better. They have continued to create opportunities for themselves to score where this was once a problem for them.
On defense, Roversio and Hunter Freeman continue to protect their territory very well. Kyle Reynish picked up his 4th clean sheet this year and pretty much put rumors of his imminent replacement to rest. While Reynish did come out of the goal a few times in the second half, his decision making was better as he was able to secure the ball including a sliding grab where had he reacted a split second later, Minnesota might have found the back of the net (see below)
The next match for the Cosmos will be this Saturday where they will be back home to play the Carolina Railhawks. The Railhawks are the only team to have handed the Cosmos a loss this season. Payback is at hand on Saturday night and so is a step closer to Atlanta!
Until next time Cosmos Soccer Fans- clap, clap, clap-clap-clap, clap-clap-clap-clap, COSMOS
Below you will find highlights of the match courtest of The New York Cosmos website.