Cosmos conclude spring season with a win, finish 3rd in standings
The Cosmos entered Saturday’s match against Edmonton FC desperately needing three points.
With only one win in the team’s previous five games, a victory for New York would cement a top-three finish and provide some much-needed momentum going into the Fall Season.
When all was said and done, the Cosmos did just that, grinding out a tense 1-0 victory on the road.
With the win, the “New York Originals” finished the North American Soccer League (NASL) Spring Season in third place and bettered the team’s chances of making the playoffs.
The last time these two teams met, the Cosmos squandered a late lead, had two of their players sent off and ended up losing 4-2 at MCU Park.
The fact that New York was able to overcome a poor run of form against a team that has proven to be a thorn in its side is a true testament to the team’s grit and character
“It was a great win tonight,” said Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese. “We fought hard to earn a victory and feel content to close the Spring Season with a victory.”
Cosmos midfielder Eric Calvillo was dangerous throughout the match and tested Edmonton goalkeeper Tyson Farago early and often.
Despite being the more threatening team and outshooting Edmonton 6-1, the Cosmos’ breakthrough did not come through until the 80th minute, when the 19-year-old midfielder Calvillo scored his first goal of the season.
Danny Szetela dribbled down the left side of the field before sending a ball into the 6-yard-box. After a skirmish in front of goal, Calvillo tapped the ball into the net for the eventual game-winner.
Edmonton made a claim for offside, but the referees let the goal stand, and the Cosmos hung on to take home a crucial three points.
“The most important thing is that the ball ended up going in the net after a very good play,” said Savarese. “The goal was very important for us in the second half.”
The winners of the spring and fall campaigns get automatic qualification into the four-team playoffs. The next two teams with the best records over the course of the two seasons get the final two spots.
The Cosmos’ best chance of making the playoffs will be to win the upcoming Fall Season.
Miami FC was officially crowned Spring Season Champions on July 8 when they defeated the San Francisco Deltas, 7-0.
A third-place finish is a disappointment by the Cosmos’ standards, but all will be forgiven if the team can make it into the four-team playoffs, where it’s win-or-go-home and all records are reset.
“Massive result [Saturday] to close out the spring,” Cosmos goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer wrote on Twitter after the match. “Cancelled flights and two full days of travel, but we dug deep for three points. Bring on the fall.”
The Cosmos kick off the 2017 NASL Fall Season on July 29, when they host Miami FC at MCU Park at 7 p.m.
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