From Dream To Nightmare; Manchester United Dissects New York Cosmos 6-0 For Scholes Testimonial

It was all a dream …

From Pele’s visit to 10 Downing Street, to the press conferences, media coverage and player appearances, The New York Cosmos were walking in an English wonderland for the past week, indulging themselves in this “once in a lifetime” opportunity to play the foil for Paul Scholes Testimonial. When the moment came to take the pitch, however, the dream became a nightmare as New York proceeded to take on a beating that felt just as long as the teams absence from professional football.

Manchester United absolutely dismantled the New York Cosmos select side 6-0 in front of a sold out Old Trafford. In typical style, Paul Scholes opened the scoring with an absolute bullet from about 20 yards out. Given some space and time by Fabio Cannivaro, Scholes blasted a shot that hit the top left corner past Brad Friedel for the 1-0 lead.

Wayne Rooney would double the lead minutes later, thanks to a spot kick outside of the box earned by Ashley Cole. Mame Biram Diouf lead all scorer’s with two. Anderson and Danny Welbeck also managed to find the back of the net in the Red Devils route.

The Cosmos fielded a surprising starting eleven, featuring four Academy products, including two midfielders, in a 4-3-3 formation. Yanick Reyering joined Cannivaro, Wayne Bridge and Salgado in the defensive side, while Nicky Butt lined the middle with 18 year old Marvin Iraheta and Dane Murphy. Stefan Dimitrov, a stand out for the Cosmos PDL side and the most experienced player in their ranks, took to the forward lines with Robbie Keane and Dwight Yorke. Brad Friedel received the call between the sticks.

Though the intention was to give the youngsters a taste of action against the World’s best, the product became a predictable and thorough drubbing that left the Cosmos a bewildered and beaten bunch. Never the less, the aspiring MLS side continues to both aggressively market the team while emphasizing a youth movement, focused on producing American talent capable of playing at the domestic level. With this unique opportunity, their hope was to showcase the teams depth, reach, connections and vision to MLS brass. Whether that translates into success is another question entirely.

Share your thoughts on today’s Paul Scholes Testimonial below.


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  • Pat

    Errrrr, correction: Roy Keane didn’t play. Robbie Keane did. (Unfortunately).

    • lol – got it. The way they kept panning to Roy, can you blame me?!

  • NYCSPORTSPUNK

    This game wasn’t a nightmare and actual MLS team with descent players losing 7-0 (SEATTLE SOUNDERS) is a nightmare , this is a testimonial, with a Coming out party for the NY Cosmos and a farewell party for Scholes.

  • Simon M

    Brad friedel had a few really nice saves.
    A scoreline like this is to be expected when playing a top top team in Europe vs a team that has been cobbled together over the last few days. It should absolutely be taken for what it is – a showcase game. An opportunity for a few young players to be seen and a celebrity pick up game for the vets.
    A la the MLS Allstar game.
    All in all, I kind of enjoyed the first half and really hope the Cosmos can put a real squad together and join MLS

    • No question – this was nothing more than a showcase game, and the result was secondary. Still, tough to watch.


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