GOING INTO THEIR BIGGEST MATCH OF THE YEAR THE COSMOS WILL BE WITHOUT KEY PLAYERS
The New York Cosmos have said it all year. Part of how they will be defined in 2014 is their success in the US Open Cup. Unfortunately for the Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese today announced that they would be without the services of three out of the eleven starters from their 2013 NASL championship winning lineup when they start their US Open Cup run. Marcos Senna, Diomar Diaz and Roversio will all be unavailable to play Wednesday against the Brooklyn Italians. Additionally, Jemal Johnson will also be unavailable due to injury as well.
In a conference call Tuesday afternoon, coach Savarese revealed that the team was still trying to fully grasp the severity of a groin pull that Senna suffered during the second half of the Cosmos match against the Indy Eleven this past Saturday. While Savarese would not entirely rule Senna out for Saturday against Fort Lauderdale, he did confirm that Senna would not be on the roster tomorrow night for their first US Open Cup match.
Savarese admitted that playing three matches in seven days is not an easy task given that there are injured players at the moment and he hinted that he will likely give some new faces some playing time both Wednesday and Saturday. Currently Savarese has Hunter Gorskie, Jimmy Ockford and Dane Murphy who have seen little to no minutes so far this season. Coach Savarese also said that there is a possibility that we could see Hans Denissen play on Wednesday.
With respect to defender Roversio, Savarese revealed that he suffered an ankle sprain in the first half of Saturday’s match against Indy. While Roversio wanted to finish the match this past Saturday, the Cosmos did not want to risk further injury to him so they have decided to not play him Wednesday against Brooklyn or Saturday against Ft. Lauderdale.
As for Diomar Diaz and Jemal Johnson, Savarese did mention that they have started to train again but are not match ready.
Whether it was injuries or not, the Cosmos seemed to have lost their intensity during the second half of their match against Indy last Saturday. Coach Savarese admitted, that intensity was something that needed to be addressed. He acknowledged that the first half seemed to have gone well for the Cosmos as they scored in the fourth minute of play and created several opportunities in the first half. He expressed confidence that his side will not let up on intensity come tomorrow’s second half.
With respect to the match at hand against Brooklyn, coach Savarese acknowledged that Brooklyn will definitely come extra motivated to play his Cosmos. He continues to call this, the hardest match that the Cosmos will play the entire US open Cup run. While they will be going up against a hungry opponent, coach Savarese did reveal that he is familiar with a lot of their players as he himself coached several of them in Cosmos academy programs.
At the end, this is a match that the Cosmos must win. From the front office, to the players and all the way to the fan base, the US Open Cup has been a key component of this season. A loss to Brooklyn would be difficult for the club to swallow. A win however would set up an even bigger and more important match against the NY/NJ Red Bulls on Saturday June 14th.
Lets hope Senna, Roversio and Diaz are there for that match.