The day that many of us had been waiting for finally arrived and boy did it deliver! The New York Cosmos embarked on their 2014 season on Sunday and much to the delight of their fans they produced a 4-0 victory over the Atlanta Silverbacks. For fans of the Cosmos the day started by gathering across the street from Schuart Stadium to part take in a festive tailgate sponsored in part by Prost Grill & Garten. It was great to see a large gathering before the game which culminated in La Banda Del Cosmos pulling into the lot with the drums full blasting! For the first tailgate of the season, many would agree that the foundation has been laid out for a fun and festive pre game ritual in 2014!
Once inside the stadium it was great to see the Five Points decked out in colors via the verticals as well as the several banners and tifos. This year’s tifo for opening day depicted the NASL tropy being hoisted with the words “History Is Written By The Victors” a salute to the teams for their 6th NASL championship earned last year. A sensational job by the Borough Boys for putting this together! Here is the best picture that has surfaced of the tifo.
As for the match, the NY Cosmos picked up right where they left off in 2013 and then some! The score line of 4-0 is probably not reflective of what it could have been. Both sides missed numerous opportunities to score and it probably should have been a much higher scoring game than this. Nonetheless the Cosmos defense deserves credit, not so much for their defense this time around but for their offense. Two defenders scored three goals on this day which is the first time that has ever happened in the Cosmos reboot era. Carlos Mendes sandwiched two goals around and Ayoze goal in the first half to give the Cosmos a 3-0 lead at the half. Then in the second half a player other than a defender would finally score. In the 72nd minute newcomer Mads Stokkelien would score on a beautiful cross from Sebastian Guenzatti that would make the score 4-0 and would give the Cosmos their first win of the season! Some notable mentions on the day was the play of Danny Szetela who played well defensively in the first half as he thwarted several offensive runs by Atlanta. Also Sebastian Guenzatti played brilliant offense as he was on point with several of his passes including one that culminated in a goal by Mads Stokkelien. It was also very encouraging to see Jemal Johsnon coming into the match during the second half and play at 100%. Johnson played in only one match during last season due to injury and he is poised to add depth to the Cosmos this season.
The victory puts the Cosmos in first place atop of the NASL ahead of Minnesota United and the Ft Lauderdale Strikers both of who also gained victories during their first match of 2014. For the Cosmos, their next match is this coming Saturday against FC Edmonton in Edmonton. Game time this Saturday is 9:00pm. Be on the look out for details on multiple viewing parties this Saturday happening at Prost in Long Island and Jack Demseys in Manhattan!