Cosmos Notes: New York faces record crowd in Ottawa, Noselli in Italy, injury updates, more

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

UNIONDALE, L.I. – The New York Cosmos have certainly taken part in several memorable moments in their recent “reboot” era.

Sunday night promises to follow suit.

TD Place in Ottawa is set to be inaugurated with home side Ottawa Fury taking on the Cosmos. Already, NASL attendance records are expected to be broken as the Fury have sold more than their expected 13,000 tickets in the 24,000 seat stadium for this match.

“For us it’s great. It’s motivation,” head coach Giovanni Savarese said. “When you have a new stadium, people in the stadium, it’s always easier to motivate the players.”

Motivation was certainly an issue last week as a cavernous Shuart Stadium saw the Cosmos fall flat against the San Antonio Scorpions in a 3-1 route. The technical staff has reviewed the match with the team, producing a high intensity week of training. “It was just one bad day,” insists Savarese. “Now, we continue looking forward. Sometimes a team deserves to have days like that and we did this weekend. Now we have to continue moving forward and we have a big game this weekend.”

While it may be an intimidating atmosphere for a visiting side, Savarese also notes that the Cosmos are not the team under pressure for this Sunday’s encounter. “Right now, the pressure is going to be on Ottawa,” he explains. “It’s their home game and they’re going to feel like we did our first match when we played at home [last season], and we have to take that to our advantage.”

FAMILY ISSUES FORCE NOSELLI HOME

Just as Alessandro Noselli began finding his comfort level with the Cosmos, personal issues have forced him to head back to Italy.

“Noselli has a very difficult personal situation,” Savarese explains. “His father is going through a little difficultly.”

The Italian striker was off to a bright start in the Spring, making three starts and notching a goal for his efforts. He was also a goalscorer against the Red Bulls in U.S. Open Cup play.

Sticking to the team’s “family” mentality, Noselli was granted leave in order to deal with his issues back home. “The priority is always the person,” Savarese said. “He needs to be OK and that is why he is in Italy right now.”

NEWS AND NOTES

  • INJURY UPDATES: According to Savarese, Marcos Senna “is very close” to returning to regular playing time as his hamstring recovery continues. Diomar Diaz is still question, but his counterpart Jemal Johnson should be ready to start. Hans Denissen, meanwhile, is fully healthy and also expected to take part against the Fury.
  • ON OCKFORD: With Roversio out, many were surprised not to see Jimmy Ockford manning the backline alongside Carlos Mendes. Savarese reveals Ockford caught a concussion in a game with the Seattle Sounders reserves prior to his arrival. “When he came back, we had to do the protocol for concussions,” he explains. “While he was OK to play, he wasn’t cleared by the protocol to play.”
  • VISA COMING: Roversio missed the first game of the year with visa issues. Savarese says that “everything is done and he should be available at any moment to play.”
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