Cosmos Corner: Statement Games Aren’t Always Wins

IMAGE, NEW YORK COSMOS

BY ANTHONY J. MERCED
Staff Writer

Was Saturday’s match against the Atlanta Silverbacks a preview of Soccer Bowl 2013? It most definitely should be! And if it is, the Cosmos looked more than capable of lifting the Soccer Bowl after one of the team’s most complete performances of the season.

For 90 minutes, the Cosmos enjoyed the majority of possession, the better scoring chances and totally outclassed the team that lifted the Spring Season Championship trophy mere months ago. It is hard to deny that a draw is very frustrating and a continuation of the team’s inability to score goals. However, things seem to be turning a corner as seen with Japanese international Satoru Kashiwase who served as a far more effective striking target than Alessandro Noselli.

While there are reasons to be optimistic, winning is everything in a league that only has 14 games. The Cosmos didn’t win Saturday night but showed that they are more than capable of victory in the NASL in a way they exhibited decades ago.

As said in the title of this piece, statement games aren’t always wins. This week, the Cosmos 1-1 draw pointed a stern finger at the Soccer Bowl hosts, putting them – and the league – on notice. New York find themselves one point from the top of the NASL table, trailing a trio of teams in a congested race for supremacy. Of the contending sides, the Cosmos are perhaps the biggest wildcard of them all; something Atlanta surely wants nothing to do with come November 9th.

Whether or not the revival of America’s most storied soccer franchise will cap off their first season with a fairy tale championship run remains to be seen but the pieces are certainly starting to fall into place.

It may be fourth place, but it’s only one point from first. A loss to Atlanta, arguably the best team in the NASL given their Spring Season success, would have been devastating. A bad result and many would be declaring this season a wash with eyes looking towards how they need to improve next season.

Instead, six games into the year, New York made a very loud statement. The Cosmos aren’t going anywhere and intend to make much more noise in the standings over the remainder of the season.