Cosmos Take on Strikers In Week 3 Action!
By Cesar Trelles – 7/25/14
Some things never get old, even after 30 years. Such is the rivalry that exists between the New York Cosmos and the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. . This Saturday that rivalry continues when the Cosmos head south to take on their long time rivals at Lockhardt Stadium.
Going into the match the Cosmos find themselves looking up at the San Antonio Scorpions who have put together an impressive beginning to the fall NASL season and sit at the top of the table with 9 points. San Antonio played a mid week fixture to start week three this past Wednesday and easily defeated the Carolina Railhawks 2-0. Last weekend it was the Cosmos opponent this Saturday, the Strikers, who lost at the hands of the Scorpions by the same score of 2-0. While it is only week three, the Cosmos know that they cannot let the Scorpions get too far ahead of them in the table if they expect to contend for the fall season title. In week one, the Scorpions owns defeated the Cosmos 3-1 which leaves the Cosmos only one more opportunity to steal points directly from the Scorpions. That opportunity will come in the last week of the season on Saturday November 1st in San Antonio.
For now, the Cosmos look to build on the positive vibe that they established last weekend in Ottawa when they defeated the Fury, 1-0. While the Cosmos were able to keep Ottawa from scoring last weekend, defense remains an area of improvement for the Cosmos.
“The team can become better defensively” explained head coach Giovanni Savarese this week when asked where he felt his side could still improve. “Even though we were very strong (against Ottawa), we still allowed two to three situations were they created chances and were able to put themselves in a one on one situation against our goalie. So that’s one of the things we can get better on”.
Defensively the Cosmos will be at a disadvantage as two of their stronger defenders will be unavailable for the team in Florida. Roversio will not be making the trip, nor will Jimmy Ockford who is still recovering from a concussion. As most fans will know, Roversio has been a staple in the back line for the Cosmos and this season when he has been unable to start with some nagging injuries, Ockford has filled the slot very well. It will be interesting to see who coach Savarese turns to to fill that void. Hunter Gorskie is the likely candidate to start alongside Hunter Freeman, Ayoze and Carlos a Mendes. Player availability will not be the only issue that may threaten the Cosmos defense. The Strikers are likely to mix things up offensively this week as they have failed to score in their first two matches this fall season. They have dropping both matches 3-0 and 2-0 respectively.
To counter this the Cosmos would be best served to strike early. In Ottawa it was encouraging to see Hans Denissen make his first official start for the Cosmos. From the start of the match, it was evident why the Cosmos were patient with Denissen. He creates scoring opportunities all over the pitch and almost connected for a goal when Mads Stokkelien found him on a cross. Unfortunately for Denissen he would hit the crossbar on the shot he took.
Marcos Senna is expected to make the trip to Florida with the Cosmos this weekend. Head coach Savarese was not certain however if he would play in this match. Diomar Diaz is also still questionable for this match and Alessandro Noselli is still away from the team on personal leave.
Here is the rest of the schedule for week 3 in the NASL
San Antonio 2- Carolina Railhawks 0 (Wednesday 7/23)
Minnesota United FC @ Atlanta Silverbacks (Saturday 7:30pm)
Ottawa Fury @ Carolina Railhwaks (Saturday 7:30pm)
San Antonio Scorpions @ Tampa Bay Rowdies (Saturday 7:30pm)
Indy Elven @ FC Edmonton (Sunday 4:00pm)
Need a place to watch the match? The Cosmos will be hosting their official viewing party in Long Island this weekend at Prost Grill and Garten. Location information in the picture below. See you at Prost and let’s go Cosmos!