By Cesar Trelles-7/20/14
It’s Sunday and its game day in Cosmos Country!
This morning the New York Cosmos woke up north of the US border in Ottawa to take on the Ottawa Fury in week two of the 2014 Fall NASL season. A simple look at the standings this morning showed the following reality:
The Cosmos find themselves in eighth place a full six points behind San Antonio, Minnesota and Tampa Bay. After last week’s loss at home to the San Antonio Scorpions the Cosmos put themselves in a difficult position by dropping points at home.
Saturday night, the Tampa Bay Rowdies stole three points from the Indy Eleven in Indianapolis when Georgi Hristov scored a goal in the 89th minute to give the Rowdies a 2-1 victory and help the Rowdies keep pace with Minnesota United FC who has already beaten Carolina earlier in the week. The San Antonio Scorpions, although they were outshot by the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, managed to make their shots count when took them and defeated the Strikers 2-0 in San Antonio.
Today the Ottawa Fury open their new stadium TD Palace. The match, expects to draw over 13,000 fans setting a modern day NASL league record for attendance. There is no question that the Fury will be motivated to launch their new stadium with a victory over the New York Cosmos. This will require the Cosmos to stay focused and attempt to bring their energy level to a level higher than that of the Fury and the 13,000 plus fans expected to be in attendance. For the Cosmos, intensity is something that they did not have in their fall season opener against the Scorpions. Bringing that to a level higher than a club opening their new stadium will prove to be quite a task.
“Sometimes teams deserve to have days like that (vs Scorpions) and we had it last weekend, but it cannot happen again,” head coach Giovanni Savarese insisted. While its only the second week of the season, it is important not to fall too far behind the three league leaders.
In the final match of the 2014 spring season, the Cosmos defeated the Fury 1-0 in front of 6,500 fans at Schuart Stadium when Alessandro Noselli netted a goal in the 6th minute of play. Ironically enough, Noselli will be unavailable to play against the Fury as he is away from the team on personal matters. Additionally the Cosmos made the trip to Ottawa without several key players. Marcos Senna is still not 100% and did not make the trip. Diomar Diaz and Roversio, two essential players to the Cosmos 2013 championship run, also did not make the trip to Ottawa.
The Cosmos will need creativity up front, something that lacked against the Scorpions. They will undoubtedly ask Sebastian Guenzatti to create opportunities along side Mads Stokkelien. The possibility also exists of Hans Denissen making his first NY Cosmos start.
Defensively, the Cosmos get back Jimmy Ockford who had been held out of the match against San Antonio with a concussion. His defense will be paramount given that the club will be missing Roversio. They will have to contend with Fury midfielder Tony Donatelli who leads the Fury with four goals.