By Cesar Trelles- 10/2/14
It’s hard to imagine that it has been less than a year since the New York Cosmos hoisted the 2013 North American Soccer League championship trophy. In their first season back to the league, they assembled a front office, put together a team and managed to gel quickly enough to be successful as a team and ultimately win the league title.
One must not forget though that it wasn’t exactly an easy road for them last year to win the fall championship. In the fall of 2013 the Cosmos only played 14 games. In those 14 games there were several draws, similar to this year. Back in 2013 eventually the Cosmos found the right formula for success and went on an emphatic run to end their 2013 campaign which catapulted them into the Soccer Bowl final.
My reason for highlighting that is that the same can be found again this season. This year’s season is of course a larger sample. Nine games in the spring followed by eighteen games in the fall not to mention a couple of high intensity matches sprinkled in for the U.S. Open Cup. Compounding their woes this year has been injuries. They have had so many injuries throughout 2014 up and down their roster. The good thing for the Cosmos however is as they come down the home stretch, it is appearing that most of their impact players are now over their injuries and fit enough to make a stretch run. We have seen the Cosmos dominate clubs this season when their roster is healthy. With Marcos Senna returning to full strength, Diomar Diaz healthy again, and Ayoze and Roversio looking to be back this weekend, the probability of wins for the Cosmos seems better than what they have been recently. One must also not forget that this year the playoff structure actually favors the Cosmos- they don’t have to win either season’s championship, they can get into the postseason via the combined points table.
The old cliche that has always existed in professional sports will likely in focus again for this year’s NASL post season- the team that gets hot at the right time will likely win the Soccer Bowl. In theory, it’s two games to be won. You can sneak in by grabbing the 4th seed on points and still win it all. Sure you won’t get home field advantage but let’s not forget, the Cosmos won the Soccer Bowl last year on the road in Atlanta. It can be done.
New York sports fans need a winner now. Look around every single professional sports team playing in New York. The Mets and Yankees are both cleaning out lockers right now and getting ready for s season of golf. The Jets and Giants don’t seem to be giving us a lot of hope. I can go on about the other professional teams however one thing is clear, The New York Cosmos are the only professional sports team in the tri-state area that can claim to be “defending league champions”. As indicated above they could be ready to make a run at doing it again. Their recent social media hashtag #rallytorepeat is indicative of the club’s desire to go for it again. Will fans be disappointed that they won’t win the fall title? Perhaps. However eyes should remain on the bigger prize- the NASL trophy. When you’re defending your league’s championship you are always a threat until you are truly mathematically eliminated. The Cosmos are nowhere near being eliminated as they currently sit in third place in the combined points table. With Gio’s players returning to health the Cosmos Are as viable a threat as ever.
There has been banter in Cosmos Country over no news on the stadium, lack of marketing, lack of big name players. The fact of the matter is all of that is irrelevant if the team is winning. Remember, this years Cosmos are not out of it. This Saturday come in and join in on the “Rally To Repeat” hysteria and get the free shirt below. The only way to get this shirt is by coming to the Five Points Supporters tailgate and pick up your shirts. While there, get to know members of the Five a Points and if you’re up for it- become a part of their fun!
Shirts will be distributed at the tailgate between the following times:
6:00pm – 6:15pm
Make sure to get your game tickets at http://www.nycosmos.com/tickets!