Cosmos looking for redemption against Railhawks

IMAGE, NEW YORK COSMOS FACEBOOK (Photos by Jon van Woerden)

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – It’s been a magical season for the New York Cosmos, but there is one blemish on their record that they would like to rectify.

“Anytime you lose to a team by a couple of goals, you want to come back and put in a good performance,” Cosmos captain Carlos Mendes said of this weekend’s opponent, the Carolina Railhawks. “I think we are a little more mature of a team now than when we last played them and hopefully that shows on Saturday.”

Last these two teams met in Cary, North Carolina, the Railhawks quickly dismantled the visiting New York side, shutting the Cosmos down and waltzing away with a 3-0 victory. For the Cosmos, it was a pivotal match. Roversio made his season debut and Danny Szetela earned his first taste of professional action in over two years. Both have become integral parts of the side since.

The Cosmos have gone undefeated in seven matches (5-2-0) since their lone loss, outscoring opponents 12 to 6 for a dominant +6 goal differential.

“The group gelled more (since their last encounter),” head coach Giovanni Savarese. “We understand our responsibilities better on the field. Everybody pushes each other a little bit more because more guys want to step in and play. I just feel that the team is mature. Those are a few of the things we have done better, the team has done better, to be where we are now.”

“I think we have a lot of good players. Anybody who steps into the lineup has done a good job,” Mendes adds. “It’s just a matter of the team getting to know each other of course and understanding each other a little better.

“We still have work to do. We can improve on a lot of things. We can keep doing that. Hopefully it starts Saturday.”

While the Cosmos have improved, they are not talking Carolina lightly.

“Like I said, they are a good team, work hard for 90 minutes, put us under pressure, and we need to be ready,” Mendes said. “They have to win. There are a couple of games left and they will come out with everything. We need to be ready. They will be fired up to play.”