Despite poor homestand, Cosmos move up in NASL table
New York Extends Winless Streak to 9 Games
Somehow, someway, the New York Cosmos climbed the standings on Saturday despite losing 2-0 to North Carolina FC, enduring a nine-game winless streak and taking only two points from a three-match homestand.
Following the team’s disappointing defeat at MCU Park in Coney Island, New York moved into fourth place in the Combined Standings, albeit provisionally.
Fifth-place Jacksonville has a game in hand on the Cosmos, and second-place San Francisco has played two fewer matches than New York.
“We plan to continue to work; to move forward,” said Cosmos head coach and Sporting Director Giovanni Savarese. “I just want for us to be able to go through this moment of difficulty. It was just a difficult game today.
“We allowed two goals going in, and we were never in the game 100 percent. We worked very hard. I don’t know if the guys were tired from the two previous matches, but [North Carolina] had us in control.”
North Carolina scored in the 12th minute when Renan Gorne calmly placed the ball to the far post on a one-on-one with Cosmos goalkeeper Brian Holt.
Austin da Luz made it 2-0 for the visitors in first-half stoppage time. After Nazmi Albadwai lured a group of Cosmos defenders, he laid off the ball to da Luz, who slotted the ball into the back of the net.
After tying Jacksonville 3-3, dropping points to the Deltas and now losing to North Carolina, the Cosmos must improve quickly if they want to make the playoffs.
Eugene Starikov, who was named Man of the Match on Saturday, articulated the current attitude around the team following New York’s poor string of results.
“Frustrated,” the Ukrainian forward said. “In terms of how we played, we were playing very well with the ball. I guess we can’t get a break, [we have to] keep working hard. Trying to get the next game and get three points.”
He added, “We sit down with the team, watch video, try to pick out the necessary things that we need to change and just move on and look forward to the next game. … It’s been a tough week.”
With six games left to play, five of which are against teams in the bottom half of the standings, the Cosmos will need to start winning if they want to lift their fourth Soccer Bowl Trophy in five years.
“We’ve just got to continue to believe,” said Savarese. “There’s still plenty of games to make it to the playoffs, and I think that’s the most important part right now.”
That quest will continue on Sunday in Brooklyn when the Cosmos host Puerto Rico FC. Kickoff is slated for 5 p.m.
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