By Cesar Trelles-10/6/2014
Shuart Stadium was finally buzzing again on Saturday. After raining for most of the day, the clouds parted and suddenly it felt like 2013 all over again weather wise in Cosmos Country. In the stands, it also felt like 2013 again. Announced attendance for the match was a robust 6,225 which for the Cosmos, was their largest paid crowd for an NASL match in 2014 other than their Spring season home opener (attendance 7,906).
As for the field, you couldn’t say it was like 2013 as the Indy Eleven were not around in 2013. But you could say that the outcome was just like all other encounters with Indy in 2014. The result was once again a draw, 0-0. Indy remains the only team that the New York Cosmos just cannot defeat. Once again you have to hand it to Indy as they went toe to toe defensively with the Cosmos.
Gio Savarese’s team put out on the pitch one of their strongest lineups in some time now that injuries have started to subside. On the stat sheet it seemed to show as well as they dominated Indy in every category except of course, goals. The Cosmos maintained possession for 55% of the match and attacked the net for seven shots on goal vs Indy’s one shot on goal. Andres Flores was the recipient of a couple of nice passes both from Danny Mwanga and Diomar Diaz but was unable to finish on a few occasions. In the second half, Marcos Senna almost connected from about 30 yards out but a stellar save from Indy goalie Kristian Nicht was needed to keep the score deadlocked at zero.
While the Cosmos did not earn the three points that they were looking for on Saturday, they hoped to have earned some more attention from soccer fans in the New York area. At the very least they hoped to have earned the attention from one person in particular, that person being former Real Madrid star striker Raul Gonzalez. Raul was in attendance at Saturday’s match along with his wife and children as spectators. After the match head coach Giovanni Savarese confirmed that the Cosmos in theory have until 5pm on Monday to make changes to their roster. Earlier today however, sources around the Cosmos organization revealed that any agreement with the Spanish legendary striker would be for services in 2015. While Cosmos fans may want to see Raul on the pitch now for a stretch run through the playoffs, it makes more sense for them to wait til 2015. The Cosmos just finished fielding what might be their best starting eleven on the pitch this past Saturday. If am the Cosmos I would like for those eleven to start gelling for a run at the Championship. Of course this is all assuming that they stay healthy for the duration of the season, but adding someone at to the mix at this point, even if it is Raul, might make it a bit difficult to get a steady eleven ready for November. Further, we all know that the other New York soccer team is ready to unleash an all out marketing blitz come 2015. The Cosmos would be best served to use Raul as part of their own marketing countrerpunch to pitch the team to fans in the off season.
Regardless of the what happens in the near future with Raul, it was good to see Shuart stadium electric again. Now if the wins can start coming as they did in 2013 as well, we may have another repeat event happen in November!