Cosmos Notes: No Panic for Savarese, Szetela Cleared to Play

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by JAKE NUTTING

New York Cosmos Head Coach Gio Savaraese won’t have talk of doom and gloom after the team’s road collapses in in their last two outings while away from Shuart Stadium.

He doesn’t believe his team allowing both Indy and Minnesota to capture victories in the final minutes is any cause for overwhelming concern quite yet, choosing instead to highlight that the fate of those matches was ultimately still in their control up until the very end.

“I feel that these past two games, if we score in the last second or the last 10 minutes of the game, no one is talking about poor results,” Savarese told the media Friday morning. “To get a better result, I feel was in our control. We have to be better at closing games, there are things we need to do to come out of games better than we did these last two games.

“The response of the players has been very good. We could’ve found ourselves with more points. I think we’re being positive about it. I think we have the means to have more points right now, but we don’t have them because we didn’t work for it and we weren’t good enough. This is not a moment to panic. We have a tremendous group of players with a lot of talent and we’re working day by day to make sure that we are very competitive.”

On the importance of Sunday’s match with Carolina

After falling to Minnesota United last week, the Cosmos Spring Season ambitions could very well rest on this weekend’s match up with the Carolina RailHawks, who enter the match with 12 points from all four of their opening matches. A loss on Sunday would leave the Cosmos 9 points back of Carolina with five games left, effectively ending their hopes of claiming a second straight spring title.

“It’s no different than every game that we’ve played,’ Savarese said. “The preparation is no different. The mental state of the players is no different.

“I always say, and I repeat, everything for us is a final. Things haven’t gone our way the past two games, which could’ve been much different situations. We find ourselves playing the first team on the table at a very important time. For us it’s a huge game, but it’s not different because for us every game”

Injury Update

One player who might factor into Sunday’s action is defensive midfielder Danny Szetela, who has been sidelined through the first four matches due to an ankle injury suffered in the final week of preseason. Szetela has received the all clear to play, though it’s unclear if he’ll see any minutes right away against the RailHawks.

Midfieder Ruben Bover will not be available again as he continues to rehab his ankle injury, though Savarese does say he’s progressing well and will hopefully be back to action soon.

Competition Up Top 

A major contributing factor to the recent road losses has been a significant regression of the play from Jairo Arrieta. The forward created no chances for his teammates in either loss and was held to one shot attempt. He was unquestionably the best player for Cosmos in the first two weeks, but the competition from the return of Bolivian international Yasmani Duk is leaving Savarese with a big lineup decision to make.

“Right now we are still deciding because everyone wants to play,” Savarese said. “Everyone is pushing to play. We have Yasmani, we have Lucky Mkosana, we have Jairo Arrieta, and Juan Arango. They’re all pushing each other because they’re all hungry to play.

“At the moment, to be quite frank, we haven’t made our decision about who’s going to start due to the fact that they’re all fighting and they all want to play.”