Cosmos drop their fall season opener 3-1 to the San Antonio Scorpions
The below is a press release from the New York Cosmos put out earlier today.
NEW YORK (July 12, 2014) – A first-half brace by San Antonio midfielder Rafael Castillo helped lift the Scorpions to a 3-1 win over the New York Cosmos in the opening match of the North American Soccer League fall season Saturday night at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium.
Was it rust? Or maybe questionable officiating? Or were the New York Cosmos just plain unlucky?
Cosmos goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer has the simple explanation for the loss.
“We just weren’t ready to play, all of us,” Maurer said. “You can make excuses, different things, but we just weren’t good enough. Play like that, especially the first half, it’s going to be a long game.”
The Cosmos couldn’t dig themselves out of a two-goal halftime deficit and conceded as many goals Saturday night as they did in the entire spring campaign.
And as was the case in the spring season, the Scorpions found a way to beat the Cosmos on the road for their fifth consecutive victory away from home.
“We give up early goals and we don’t match their intensity,” Cosmos fullback Hunter Freeman said of the similarities in the two defeats. “I think a lot of games where we struggled is where we haven’t matched the other team’s intensity.”
Scorpions midfielder Rafael Castillo scored a pair of set piece goals in the final four minutes of the first half to give the visitors a two-goal bulge at the break.
Referee Allen Chapman pointed to the spot after Castillo was knocked down in the box by Maurer, who dived to his left and got a hand on the Colombian midfielder’s attempt. But it went in off the post to put the visitors in front, 1-0, in the 41st minute.
“I made mistakes. I should have done better before the penalty,” Maurer said. “I gave the ref a chance to make a call. Do I think it was a penalty? I don’t know. I have to look at it on tape to see how it looks. It didn’t feel like a penalty.”
Castillo netted his second goal in the second minute of first half stoppage time when he lashed a free kick off the underside of the crossbar, the post and in to give San Antonio a 2-0 lead.
Freeman pulled the Cosmos a goal back in the 57th minute, blasting a 26-yard free kick over the Scorpions wall and into the side netting. Freeman nearly leveled the match, but his lob from 35 yards sailed just over the crossbar in the 63rd minute.
But just when it seemed the Cosmos had momentum going their way, forward Sainey Touray scored the dagger for San Antonio in the 69th minute. The Gambian forward latched onto a quick pass from forward Billy Forbes and chipped it over Maurer, who was late off his line.
“To give up a goal, especially a bad goal like that, is a backbreaker. … I should have stayed,” Maurer said.
“It just deflates you, it does,” added Freeman. “Obviously you have to keep working, keep battling to try to find another goal, but now you’re going uphill. … It was a bad goal to give up at a bad time.”
While Maurer blamed himself, Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese said there was plenty of blame to share throughout the game. He’s hoping his team reacts the same way it did after a 1-0 loss at home to San Antonio on April 26.
“Last season after we lost against San Antonio as well, we were able to find ourselves, we learned from it, we became better and we were stronger throughout the entire season,” Savarese said. “Hopefully it’s the same case, we learn from this and we are going to be a lot more competitive than we were today.”
The Cosmos look to bounce back on the road July 20 against Ottawa Fury FC.Hear Hunter Freeman and Carlos Mendes’ thoughts on last night’s loss below:
Miss the match? Here are the highlights from their loss to the Scorpions. Not many positives for the Cosmos!