Preview: New York Cosmos vs. San Antonio Scorpions

IMAGE, NYCOSMOS.COM

The New York Cosmos are the hottest team in New York City right now, and they hope to extend their fortunes against the San Antonio Scorpions.

This is the first match between the two sides since San Antonio dashed New York’s playoff hopes in the NASL postseason last year. Since then, both teams have taken different paths through the Spring season, with the Cosmos going undefeated (4-3-0) at the top of the table while the Scorpions have floundered at 2-1-3, good for eighth in the 11 team table.

That doesn’t mean the match will be an easy one for the host Cosmos. San Antonio have won their last two matches in a row; a 3-2 road victory at Edmonton and a 1-0 win against Carolina at home. The Cosmos are coming off an impressive result of their own, coming from behind to draw Carolina at WakeMed Park behind a stoppage time goal from Andres Flores.


PROJECTED STARTING XI:

Cosmos (4-2-3-1): Maurer; Freeman, Roversio, Mendes, Ayoze; Moffat, Szetela; Restrepo, Raul, Fernandes; Mkosana

Scorpions (3-5-2): Sattler; Abdul-Salaam, James, Cann; Soto, DeRoux, Nane, Elizono; Cummings, Forbes

HISTORY: 4-2 Scorpions lead series

LAST ENCOUNTER: 2-1 Scorpions (Playoffs) 11/8/14

BATTLE TO WATCH: Cummings vs. Mendes, Roversio. Omar Cummings has experienced a nice revival with the Scorpions, exposing defenses with speed and accuracy, leading to a team high four goals. That can bode terribly for the veteran Cosmos defense.

X-FACTOR: Marcos Senna. The veteran Spanish midfielder is a key contributor to the Cosmos on both sides of the pitch. His inclusion in the match can sway the midfield battle for — or against — the home side.


ANALYSIS:

The Scorpions can keep their Spring hopes alive — and those of several other NASL sides — with a win at Hofstra. Recent history shows they can take results against New York. After all, San Antonio swept the Cosmos throughout all competitions in 2014 after facing a similar fate against New York in 2013.

Of course, this is a different season and this is a different Cosmos side. Once defined by their central-minded ground attack, wingers Restrepo and Fernandes have managed to re-define the Cosmos offense. Each player has been vital in the overall success of the club and will pose a tough challenge to San Antonio’s fullbacks.

One familiar face that will look to disrupt New York is Joseph Nane. The hard-nosed Cameroonian midfielder struggled to find a regular starting role with the Cosmos after Danny Szetela usurped him for the starting spot alongside Senna. That never sat well with the competitive midfield veteran who will surely be driven to show New York what they are missing.

With home field advantage and a string of positive results, New York look poised for to extend their unbeaten run to eight games. However, a win will be difficult, particularly with Forbes and Cummings leading the way.

Prediction: New York Cosmos 2-2 San Antonio Scorpions

  • andrew

    Could you put date/times for games in these previews?