Giovanni Savarese’s New York Cosmos finally realized what they were up against in the North American Soccer League. Against the Carolina Railhawks at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., the Cosmos put on a noncompetitive performance in the 3-0 defeat.
Now I say noncompetitive for one reason, and one reason only: the Cosmos played down to nine men in this contest thanks to Joseph Nane and Sebastian Guenzatti earning their marching orders.
Brian Shriver has been the catalyst for the RailHawks all season, and his brace in the eighth and 28th minutes is a sign that he should be playing in Major League Soccer. With all the goals Shriver has been scoring, one would imagine that the big league is taking a good look at Shriver.
Brian Ackley added a penalty conversion in the 89th minute of play for the RailHawks but the outcome was long decided in the first half, with the Cosmos playing two goals and one man down at the break.
“We’re creating chances, but we have to put them away as that is how the game goes,” Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese told NASL.com at halftime, according to Big Apple Soccer. “Unfortunately we are not concentrated in certain times and they have capitalized on them. We need to do a better job in our finishes now it is 10 against 10 so in the second half we still have a chance.”
“New York probably had the more shots and more possession, but we took our chances,” said RailHawks head coach Colin Clarke to NASL.com. “For me, that was our biggest weakness in the Spring and something we have worked on a great deal. New York is a very good team, with good players. This was a big win tonight, we will enjoy it and then move our focus on to the next match.”
Pretty flattering remarks from Clarke, since Savarese was unavailable for comment at the end of the game, and understandably so. The Railhawks boss was right on one aspect regarding chances: the Cosmos had all 10 of the corner kicks and had three shots on goals compared to Carolina’s two, according to the stats.
But, in this league, it’s not surprising to see a team dominate the stats and still lose handily. You have to keep in mind that this is a New York Cosmos team still trying to gel as a unit, so these losses are going to be commonplace at least for this year. If the Cosmos faithful expect a winner immediately, then this result was their wake-up call.
And with this result in mind, will they come out to watch New York against the San Antonio Scorpions? Kickoff at Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y. is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET and will be televised by SNY and One World Sports.