HEAD COACH SAVARESE SAYS FANS AND ORGANIZATION DESERVE 100% ALWAYS!
This Saturday soccer will be in full tilt with the World Cup in pool play action. In New York however, the soccer world might as well be at its highest peak since the 1980’s when the New York Cosmos were winning championships. Since the minute the Cosmos took to the pitch back on August 3rd in last year’s NASL fall season, New York soccer fans yearned for a potential match against the NY/NJ Red Bulls. With the Cosmos playing in the NASL, some wondered if that dream match would ever take place. Thanks to the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, that match is taking place this Saturday at Hofstra.
With the opportunity to advance to the next round of the US Open Cup and New York bragging rights on the line, one would assume that both teams would be pulling out all the stops to emerge as victor from this historic match. Recently however it has surfaced that Mike Petke’s Red Bulls would be coming in without several starters. Two (Tim Cahill & Roy Miller) are with their National Teams on World Cup duty, two will likely not play due to their refusal to play on turf surface (Thierry Henry & Jamison Olave) and Dax Mccarty is unavailable due to injury. The final blow came when Petke announced that he would not start his primary goal keeper Luis Robles, who is quite possibly one of the better goal keepers in the MLS, but would start backup goalie Ryan Meara instead. Injuries are one thing. World Cup duty is a privlidge, those other three substitutions make me wonder about the Red Bulls desire to put forth their best team.
Meanwhile for the Cosmos, head coach Giovanni Savarese feels that the Cosmos have nothing to lose. In fact, he feels very strongly about every team’s desire to excel regardless of whatever type of competition they are in.
“To be quite honest all of the responsibility to win this match is on the Red Bulls”, Savarese explained on Tuesday. “Being the team that is an MLS team they have the responsibility to step on the field to represent the MLS organization. Just like when we played the Brooklyn Italians, the responsibility was on the NY Cosmos as we were the favorites to have to pass through at that point. Regardless of the guys that we put (on the pitch), it doesn’t matter, Marcos (Senna) or any other player, whoever steps on the field represents the organization. And as we tell our players, every weekend matters in different ways, every tournament match, every league game, every cup game. For us its important every game because we represent the organization and I think the fans deserve to always have a team that is going to compete in everything to honor them and honor the organization. So whoever they are going to play or whoever will be resting or not resting, I think the pressure is mostly on Red Bulls to have to win and that puts us in a situation, you know, where we have nothing to lose and we are coming into this match with a lot to gain and most of all to enjoy for all of our players.
For the Cosmos, Savarese did confirm that three players are questionable for the Cosmos going into this Saturday against the Red Bulls. He added that all three are recovering well from their injuries but he would not rule them out for the match all together. Those three are Marcos Senna (groin), Roversio (hamstring) and Diomar Diaz (hamstring). All other players are fit and ready to go.
All of the Cosmos players do play on turf as well and none will have to attend any TV appearances on Saturday.
Tickets for this historic match can be purchases via the NY Cosmos Website. Game time is 8:15pm.