ATLANTA, GA. – The New York Cosmos did not look like a team that broke a winless and goalless streak following Sunday morning’s 2-1 defeat of the Silverbacks.
Perhaps the 1:06 AM end time played a part in that.
Cosmos players and their coaching staff alike simply seemed happy to get their match against Atlanta over with, walking off at the final whistle with little to no celebration.
While pleased to earn their third win in three appearances at Silverbacks Park, Head Coach Giovanni Savarese expressed his disappointment with the decision to continue the game after a three and a half hour delay, and offered a critical response to the NASL for their decision to go on.
“For us to come away with three points is a great thing,” Savarese said. “But I just think the league needs to make better decisions because you jeopardize the health of the players in a situation like this.”
The Cosmos started their match at 7:30 PM. After going down a goal in the 12th minute, clouds began to gather over Silverbacks Park. At the 23rd minute, those clouds turned into a thunderstorm, engulfing the field in a deluge of water.
After two hours of stoppage, and with rain storms relenting, Silverbacks officials began an effort to speed the drainage of the field in order to continue play. Shortly after 10 PM, those same officials announced an 11:30 PM restart to the match.
Both the Cosmos and Silverbacks struggled to find a rhythm once the match resumed, with the Park turf making for slippery and dangerous conditions
Savarese found the entire situation to be misguided.
“I’ve seen games rained out,” Savarese said. “But three and a half hours wait to step back on the field? I’ve never experienced that. It wasn’t a good situation.”
It was a sentiment that Cosmos newcomer Andres Flores echoed, despite scoring the game tying goal, labeling the “six hour game” “not a good experience” on Twitter. His fellow teammates followed suit, with players like Jimmy Ockford and Hunter Freeman expressing their disbelief on social media as well.
The over three and a half hour rain delay is an NASL record. No reasoning was offered for the match continuation at the time of this report.