They were a team that not too long ago, were a concept, an idea that could be reborn from the pages of history. Now, they are on the verge of writing a new page to their legacy.
Giovanni Saverese’s New York Cosmos, on the second attempt, have done it. They are now, officially, champions of the 2013 North American Soccer League Fall Season after defeating the San Antonio Scorpions, 2-1, at Toyota Field in San Antonio, Tex.
“The bit I knew I could never control was how 11 guys kicked a lump of leather around on the field,” Cosmos chairman Seamus O’Brien told the New York Times in an Oct. 17 interview. “I always said that we were doing the hardest thing you can do in sport. You have 28 guys who had never met each other.
“So we were coming through stone cold nothing, and no one realizes that we were building everything from scratch, from scratch. I told Gio to go out and do it, and he’s gone out and done it. You hope for the best, but you never know. The odds were so heavily against us.”
After Tomasz Zahorski opened up the scoring in the third minute to make it 1-0 Scorpions, the Cosmos took the bull by the horns in the second half. Sebastian Guenzatti equalized in the 52nd minute and then Stefan Dimitrov equalized in the 54th minute of play.
Dane Murphy, who came off the bench for Marcos Senna in the 68th minute, was sent off in the 73rd minute of play, forcing New York to go on the defensive for the remainder of the contest.
“This is something the players deserve,” Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese told NYCosmos.com. “They’ve been working extremely hard and have had a great season, playing one game at a time. Now, after tonight, we’ll immediately start to focus and prepare for our next match.”
“All the guys knew that we needed three points to go to the Soccer Bowl and its not easy to do when you’re a goal down, but we came back after halftime ready to do the job,” Cosmos assistant coach Carlos Llamosa added. “In the second half we tried to be more aggressive and fortunately for us we were able to capitalize.”
The Cosmos will face the Atlanta Silverbacks in the first of two straight meeting to close out the year, including Soccer Bowl 2013. Kickoff for the first match between the Cosmos and Atlanta at Silverbacks Park in Atlanta, Ga. on Nov. 2 is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by NASL.com.
|New York Cosmos||13||8||4||1||21||12||28|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||12||5||5||2||25||19||20|
|Minnesota United FC||13||5||2||6||15||15||17|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||13||5||2||6||17||19||17|
|San Antonio Scorpions||13||3||1||9||14||22||10|
Tiebreakers: 1.) Goal difference 2.) Goals scored 3.) Head-to-head 4.) Away goal difference 5.) Away goals scored