Cosmos Close Spring Season with a Victory
On Sunday evening, in front of a jubilant crowd at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium, fittingly, an Italian footballer was the hero. On a night in which the New York Cosmos retired the no. 9 of legend Giorgio Chinaglia, current international forward Alessandro Noselli hammered in his first goal of the season in the sixth minute of what would become a 1-0 victory over Ottawa Fury FC.
“It’s beautiful how things work sometimes,” coach Giovani Savarese said after the match.
Coming into the game, the mentality of the players, rightfully, was in question. On Thursday, Minnesota captured the NASL Spring Season title after a 3-3 draw with Tampa Bay put them safely four points ahead of the surging Cosmos before they took the field over the weekend.
“Of course we’re disappointed,” said captain Carlos Mendes. “You play to win and we fell a little short in the Spring, but for us, the mentality was to get as many points as possible. Three points was huge today.”
Credit be to coach Savaresi who made sure his players took the pitch with the appropriate state of mind, despite missing out on a title, using the presence of Chinaglia as motivation. “One thing we spoke to the players about is that we need to honor Giorgio because he was a winner and an important part of this organization, and the least we can do to honor him is give 100 percent,” Savaresi said during his post game interview. “I think the guys did just that today.”
The knowledge of falling just short of the title didn’t seem to affect the Cosmos performance whatsoever. Possession and combination play was clean and electric throughout the whole match. Defensively, the Cosmos were hardly challenged at all, staying true to the Spring Season trend of shutting out the opponents. The result earned goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer his sixth clean sheet of the term. Remarkably, the Cosmos only allowed a total of three goals during the entire nine-game Spring Season. “All the credit goes to the guys in front of me,” said goalkeeper Maurer. “These guys just work so hard for 90 minutes.”
With the Spring Season now wrapped up, the attention of the squad, coaches, fans, and media alike turn toward the New York Derby between the Cosmos and New York Red Bulls in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. “These are special games, the ones that allow soccer to grow in New York,” says Savaresi. “I think there is more pressure on the Red Bulls; that makes it a lot better for us.”
“We have a lot of guys with a lot of talent in this locker room, guys who played in the MLS, who played abroad, other guys who are young and coming up,” said Maurer. “We can definitely beat them. In soccer, any team can win on any day.”
The Cosmos return to action Saturday June 14th, at 8:15pm ET at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium, where they will face NYC rival New York Red Bulls in the fourth round of the US Open Cup.
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