Preview: New York Cosmos at Fort Lauderdale Strikers

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

The New York Cosmos ended their winless streak against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers last Sunday.

This weekend, the Strikers have a shot at revenge.

The heritage rivalry between both clubs has been lopsided in favor of the Cosmos since the new era NASL competition began. The Cosmos 2-0 victory last weekend extended New York’s dominance over the Strikers to seven consecutive matches without a loss (6-1-0).  Moreover, this latest Cosmos triumph catapults the club back to first place overall in the combined standings (5th place in the Fall).

Fort Lauderdale are 1-3-2 in the Fall and a lowly ninth overall in the combined table. A win against New York improves their standing in the fight for a postseason playoff spot.


PROJECTED XI:

NY Cosmos (4-2-3-1): Maurer; Freeman, Mendes, Caceres, Ayoze; Szetela, Senna; Restrepo, Raul, Fernandes; Lucky

Fort Lauderdale Strikers (4-4-2): Ford; Gabriel, Guerrero, Sanfilippo, Thomas; King, PC, Chin, Ramirez; Marlon Freitas, Stefano

HISTORY/LAST ENCOUNTER:

Last Meeting: July 26th, 2-0 Cosmos at Shuart Stadium

Series History (W-T-L): Cosmos lead series 6-1-0

BATTLE TO WATCH: Szetela/Senna vs. Strikers’ midfielders

Much like the last encounter, it will be the efforts of the Cosmos midfield that will dictate the pace of the match. This time, New York may call upon Marcos Senna in the midfield; a key boon for the club.

X-FACTOR: Weather.

It will be 93 degrees at Lockhart Stadium with scattered thunderstorms and high humidity. Conditions will be tough in Florida for both sides. Add that to the fact that this is the Cosmos’ and Strikers’ third match in seven days, and you have a recipe for exhaustion.


WHAT TO EXPECT:

The New York Cosmos extended their dominance over the Strikers last week — but it was hardly a dominating affair.

The Cosmos capitalized on a pair of mistakes by the Strikers, leaving Fort Lauderdale flummoxed and empty handed on their way out of Hofstra.

“We were completely competitive in the first game (against the Cosmos),” said Head Coach Günter Kronsteiner. “The only difference was the goals we gave up.  The goals were too easy.”

This week, the Cosmos may count on Senna’s long awaited return after visa issues derailed his Fall season. With the Villarreal great in tow, New York have a key weapon against a Fort Lauderdale side hungry for revenge.

As for the Strikers, they will be missing three key starters; Karsten Smith, James Marcelin and Pinho, forcing them to dig deep into their bench for a result.

That may not be enough for them to stop a full strength Cosmos side.

 

Prediction: 2-1 Cosmos

The match will be televised on One World Sports and ESPN3.

  • Anonymous

    Raul and Senna should be right at home among all the geriatrics in florida

  • go go go go Fort Lauderdale Strikers.