The standings tell you the story. Six points separate the New York Cosmos and Minnesota United FC with the Cosmos looking up at Minnesota. For Cosmos fans, no one could envision them to be in the position that they are in now but there is hardly any time to fret over it. The team knows that it has to pick itself up and grab three points from Minnesota United if they want to remain in the hunt for the NASL championship. For the Cosmos the time has come to sink or swim.
Minnesota has been clicking on all cylinders by going a perfect 4-0 so far this season. They also boast the league’s leading scorer so far in Christian Ramirez who has done everything that Minnesota expected of him when they signed him in the offseason form USL Pro’s Charlotte Eagles. As if that weren’t enough, Minnesota recently signed Australian national and former world cup national for Australia Richard Garcia, to add some depth to their offensive attack. One would say that the Loons are coming into this match with all of the momentum that the NY Cosmos don’t have.
For the Cosmos, they will have to get back to their winning ways. Marcos Senna will likely be back on the pitch despite leaving with an leg injury last week. Sebastian Guenzatti will not be playing as he was issued a red card for the Cosmos during their last match in Carolina. Will this be the week that we finally see Hans Denissen get his first official action on the field for the NY Cosmos? With the Cosmos being shutout two times in a row, they could definitely use another offensive option off of the bench coming into this match.
One thing that does need to change offensively for the NY Cosmos is their style of attack. We have seen too many times where they have tried to create scoring opportunities by lobbing crosses into the penalty area. Seeing a different style of attack might prove to be the scoring style that the Cosmos might need. We have yet to see Diomar Diaz embark on one of his sprints through the defense. Jemal Johnson has come close to doing that but he has misfired on several of his scoring opportunities. Confident shooting and precise passing will also help the Cosmos in their attempt to break their scoring drought.
Defensively, the Cosmos will have to come out strong from the opening kick. Two weeks in a row we have seen the defense give up a goal early in the first half to put them down 1-0. Both times, the opposition crowded the last third on the NY Cosmos and denied them any goals. After giving up those costly goals, the defense has gone back to being their stingy selves. Lets hope they can avoid those early first half goals this week because if they don’t, the Cosmos could find themselves dropping three valuable points and their spring NASL title hopes might just sink away.
The Cosmos have the distinction of playing their first ever Monday Night Futbol match since their reboot this week. Game time is 7:30pm. The first 5,000 fans to enter the stadium will receive a Cosmos t-shirt with the season’s home schedule printed on the back of the shirt. Come on out to Schuart stadium this Monday night, not only for your t-shirt, but for what will most definitely be an exciting battle that will likely decide first place in the spring NASL season.
Other matches around the NASL in week 5:
Tampa Bay Rowdies (1-1-2, 5pts) at Ottawa Fury (1-3-0, 3pts) @ TD Place, 7:00 pm ET
Atlanta Silverbacks (2-2-0, 6pts) at Fort Lauderdale Strikers (3-1-0, 9pts) @ Lockhart Stadium, 7.30 pm ET
FC Edmonton (0-3-1, 1pt) at Indy Eleven (0-2-2, 2pts) @ Carroll Stadium, 7.30 pm ET
Carolina Railhawks (2-1-1, 7pts) at San Antonio Scorpions (2-2-0, 6pts) @ Toyota Field, 8:30 pm ET
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