Every professional sports club seems to have that weakness that eats at them whenever the opportunity presents itself. Almost in a way the way Superman weakens with kryptonite, the New York Cosmos seems to find a way to falter when they visit the Carolina Railhawks. The only thing that was different this time around for the Cosmos was that they scored a goal after being unsuccessful at doing so two times before. The final score was 5-4 in favor of the Railhawks.
Today I will choose not to go into the individual goals themselves because nine goals might be a bit much to recap. The Cosmos first goal was a Railhawks own goal when Railhawks defender Siriboe headed a ball that snuck past his own goal keeper. For the Cosmos, their three goals were scored by Jimmy Ockford (69th minute), Mads Stokkelien (80th minute) and Stefan Dimitrov (89th minute). The four goal tally matched a season high for the NY Cosmos and it was achieved as a result of a relentless effort to give up on multiple occasions when the Railhawks were up by two goals. However for me, the thing that stood out on this night was the lineup that head coach Giovanni Savarese summonsed to the field.
All year we have seen Hunter Gorskie start as a defender. Saturday he was up front as a left winger playing on the opposite side of Sebastian Guenzatti. Also, we saw a healthy Marcos Senna start the match from the bench. Ironically enough, when he entered the match in the second half, the Cosmos scored their three proper goals. Questions also swirled from this fan on the status of Andres Flores and Ayoze who also did not see time in the match on Saturday. Flores had just returned from a tour of duty with the El Salvador national team but had been given a thumbs up by head coach Giovanni Savarese during the week on his availability. Ayoze is rumored to have suffered an injury during the week which is unfortunate because the Cosmos would have been better off with his services on Saturday.
Then there are the questions of who he actually did start. Dane Murphy in midfield against a hungry Carolina team surely was not something that any Cosmos fan would have predicted. Also Connor Lade just came off of a week where he played last weekend with the Cosmos and just this past Wednesday with the Red Bulls in a CONCACAF Champions League match. Are you telling me that there really wasn’t anyone else that could have started in place of him? Gorskie could have easily slipped in on defense and there were plenty of other options to replace Gorskie on offense?
I am usually one that defends the Cosmos to the core on just about everything that is done. But last night was just flat out disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, I will forever be a Cosmos fan til I die, but times do come when even the most die hard of fans ask – what was the team thinking? At a time when the team was picking up steam and seemed to be set to go on a nice run, there were just too many questions left to be asked after last night’s match. If the Cosmos would have fielded their strongest team on paper, I would have been ok with taking this defeat. But I was left with too many feelings of “what could’ve been” had certain lineup spots been handled differently. The loss hurt the Cosmos in the fall standings as well. Minnesota United defeated the San Antonio Scorpions by a score of 2-0 and now lead the Cosmos by eight full points. The Cosmos still remain in third place when you look at the combined standings but as a fan, I want to win a season title to make the post season.
Next up for the Cosmos is a trip north of the border to Edmonton. At least they will have an extra day to prepare for that much as it will be a Sunday match.
What was your take on last night’s performance? What would your line up have looked like?
Post your suggestions below!