Cosmos’ Savarese not looking past Brooklyn Italians

New York Cosmos boss Giovanni Savarese has built his team around one simple mantra:

“Every game is a final.”

That mentality doesn’t allow the former Metrostars striker to think of what could be — no matter how tempting the proposition.

While the rest of the Tri-State area salivates at a possible fourth round U.S. Open Cup encounter between the Cosmos and Red Bulls, Savarese keeps a firm gaze on the Brooklyn Italians — New York’s third round opponent.

“I can’t jump and talk about the fourth round if we don’t talk about the third round,” Savarese tells EOS. “That third game is very important for us. I will worry about what we will do in the fourth round when we get past the difficult game we have against the Brooklyn Italians.”

Next Wednesday’s encounter at St. Johns’ Belson Stadium will mark the first time the Cosmos — in any form — have participated in the nations oldest soccer tournament. Savarese believes that moment in history, along with a tough opponent ahead, will increase the challenge for his side, making it impossible to talk about anything outside of the Brooklyn Italians.

“It will surely be the most difficult game for this organization being that it’s the first of the Open Cup,” he says. “That’s the game we have to take most seriously.”

There is a deep familiarity between the Italians and the Cosmos. Both Savarese and assistant coach Carlos Llamosa have manned the starting XI under Brooklyn’s banner in their playing days. In fact, the NPSL club recently bestowed an honor on Savarese at a gala dinner event for his role in professional soccer today, and his Italian roots of yesteryear.

“They gave me the recognition not too long ago as Sportsman of the Year,” Savarese recounts. “Now, to go against them, it’s without a doubt interesting but it’s just another game. We have to prepare for it, be ready for the opposition and that is the most important thing for us to do.

“Without a doubt, it is sentimental to play against a club we know,” he admits. “We have a great relationship between both organizations. We have a lot of history together. Honestly, there is a great mutual respect in each of our clubs. We have similar missions in trying to improve soccer in New York.”

While that may be the case, Savarese’s mission is the same as always: treat this game like a final.

If they advance, then the talk of a Red Bulls match can begin.

“Once we win that game, I will be able to speak a bit more about everything I think about the possibility [in the fourth round],” he says. “At the moment, in my mind, we don’t have that game to plan for. We have to prepare for the Brooklyn Italians and get by them in the third round, which will be the most complicated game for us.”


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  • Anthony

    Gio > Petke

  • argy bargy

    Word. MLS coaches like Petke have an NFL mentality. All they care about is league play. Because they’re all NFL blockheads at heart, this strange cup play and international play stuff irritates them and they just see it as a soccer related inconvenience.

    Gio’s attitide is much healthier.


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