By Cesar Trelles – 8/24/2014
Going into Saturday night’s NASL matchup at Shuart Stadium, the New York Cosmos. They didn’t expect however to have to play the match with only 10 men. That’s exactly what they ended up doing when Jimmy Maurer drew a red card in only the fifth minute of the match. Unfortunately for the Cosmos, Minnesota had the league’s leading scorer taking the penalty kick in Christian Ramirez. With Jimmy Maurer picking up a red card, it was time for Kyle Zobeck to make his first appearance for the Cosmos. Ramirez, got him started on the wrong foot by making Zobeck dive the wrong way and nailing his league leading 13th goal to give Minnesota a 1-0 lead. It was only the fifth minute and the Cosmos found themselves trailing at home to the league leading team. Things were not looking good for the Boys in Green.
But head coach Giovanni Savarese’s team battled on this night and a gutsy first half yielded only a 1-0 Minnesota lead. Coming out of the locker room the Cosmos went on the offensive almost immediately and started to create numerous chances even though they were down a player. In the 56th minute, Hagop Chirishian received the ball on the right wing and made a breakaway toward the goal and missed a chance to score the equalizer when Minnesota’s goalie Van Oekel made a spectacular save. Moments later Stefan Dimitrov just missed poking in the ball in the 58th minute. Later in the 68th minute, Mads Stokkelien found Hunter Freeman sprinting down the field on the right wing and connected with him on a nice cross. But Freeman couldn’t finish the play as he headed the ball away from the goal. Finally in the 74th minute, Jemal Johnson sent in an accurate cross from the left wing and found a sliding Mads Stokkelien who tapped it into the lower left corner of the goal for the equalizer. Even after the goal, the Cosmos continued their pressure. In the 79th minute, Andres Flores found himself sprinting down the middle of the field towards the goal and appeared headed for a one on one with Minnesota’s goalie and a great chance at the equalizer. However he was taken down from behind in the penalty area in what looked like an apparent penalty that was never called by the referee. Another opportunity missed by the New York Cosmos only this time it was clearly the refree’s fault.
After withstanding the Cosmos onslaught in the second half, Minnesota had escaped Shuart Stadium with a 1-1 draw and the same distance between them and the Cosmos intact. With the San Antonio Scorpions winning their match against Atlanta, Minnesota United slipped into second place in the NASL. The Cosmos hope to have found some momentum after playing the match with 10 men and will set their sights on playing against the Indy Eleven next weekend in Indianapolis.
During half-time the New York Cosmos supporters groups, the Five Points, took on the ALS ice bucket challenge that was posed to them by the Cosmos. At the end the Five Points challenged, Shep Messing, Cosmos COO Erik Stover and NASL Commission Bill Peterson.
Here is footage of the Five Points Taking Their Ice Bucket Challenge!
After the match, full season ticket holders were treated to an exclusive on field meet and greet with all of the Cosmos players as well as the coaching staff. The opportunity was a chance for die hard fans to get up close with the heroes and pose for pictures with them as well as obtain autographs. For many fans, it was the perfect ending to another exciting night at Shuart Stadium.
Enjoy some pics from the night taken by Cross Island Crew’s dynamic photography duo of Eytan Calderon & Kathleen Vera!