Sluggish Start Has Cosmos Chasing in Fall Season Race

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by JAKE NUTTING

The New York Cosmos ended the first half of Sunday’s matchup with Rayo OKC with a 1-1 scoreline after rallying for a penalty late in the half, but head coach Gio Savarese was none too pleased with his players and let them know it with his halftime comments.

“He said what we were all thinking,” said keeper Jimmy Maurer. “The first half was pretty much a disaster. We came out too slow. To play at the professional level and come out like that, you’re gonna get punished and we did.

“As the first half went on we got better, settled into the game, started playing and we were able to get back into it, but a first half like that for us is unacceptable.”

Rayo OKC entered the match under tumultuous conditions after the sudden resignation of head coach Alen Marcina on Thursday, and yet they were the ones to strike the first blow in the 4th minute with a tremendous volley from Georgios Samaras. The goal was certainly quick, but it was not a fluke. Rayo OKC approached the first half with more energy and were sharper than the Cosmos in every area of the field for most of the first half.

Savarese didn’t chalk up the poor first half to just his team’s energy level, though. The issue was larger than that.

“The way we started it was more about them being smarter than us in reading things earlier,” Savarese bluntly stated. “The problem was their players were more engaged in getting the second balls, in being more active on the second play.

“We put the effort in, we were running, but we were not running smart and that was the difference between them and us at the beginning of the game.”

The sluggish start snapped the Cosmos’ ten-game winning streak at Shuart Stadium, but more critically, it prevented them from moving into a tie with Indy Eleven and FC Edmonton at the top of the Fall Season standings. Indy and Edmonton both handled their business with wins by one-goal margins to take a two-point lead in the title race.

A slow start every once in a while can be written off. The Cosmos, though, have now posted two in a row, and they were only let off the hook last week by Puerto Rico’s inability to finish. With the Fall Season championship and a playoff spot to fight for, now is not an opportune time to start forming bad habits.

“It was the same last week,” said  midfielder Adam Moffat. “I think we were a little slow to come out. Obviously last week they never scored but they came out and they pressed us pretty hard. Today they got that goal and were just a little bit too slow to react to balls. We were giving them just a little bit too much space. I feel like we came into it as the game wore on, but we can’t do that. We’re making it too hard for ourselves.”

The Cosmos will have a chance to start things off more positively next week against the Tampa Bay Rowdies, who they tied 2-2 two weeks ago in a match full of controversial decisions from the referee.

  • james w

    they can’t even handily beat the clubs going under due to relegation and who can’t pay their people like Rayo and Ft Lauderdale, guess that is why no one shows up to the games…

    • Kevin

      James, you’re a funny guy. You supposedly are a USA soccer fan and an MLS fan, atleast thats what you said when asked who you’re favorite team is. So if you don’t have a favorite team to answer my question with, why are you just trolling Cosmos forums. If you’re a fan of US Soccer and the whole MLS what do you care about the Cosmos for. Strange

  • Alex

    Lets goo Cosmos till I Die

    • james w

      you should say till they Die, b/c they will be gone within a couple years, till then enjoy the college lacrosse field with the other 500 people who care…

      • Support Brooklyn

        Little punk u r knock those teeth out !

        • Larry\’s A Simpleton

          ESL?

  • George

    Team is weak. Too many below average Latino players. I’m not too crazy about position of St Gio, neither. Who’s fault is? Ours or his?
    When I first heard about rebirth of Cosmos, I honestly thought is going to be back to the glory. Yes, I do remember those days. ;)) But now it looks like somebody’s expensive hobby, no more. That , plus pure horror, that they calling us soccer pyramid, with closed system of private leagues spells loud and clear into two si pale words: NO FUTURE!
    Better get into hockey, or something.

    • ecky

      yeah, there really isn’t anywhere for the cosmos to go at this point, season is not going so well in let’s face it a lower league, attendance is very low, there doesn’t seem to be anything left to spark more interest, stadium situation is bad and not improving?…

      • CosmosLoser

        How dare you? Cosmos are the most powerful team in all the universe. Every other team will fold. But the Cosmos will make Forbes #1 spot for not only richest team, but richest company to ever walk the face of the earth! Call me a loser because I’m jaded that the Metro Stars, named after a company, was replaced by another name of a company. Or that I whined like a girl when Petke got fired. Or when NYCFC came in to play in a baseball stadium. But I digress, the Cosmos are the most powerful force in the universe.

        • james w

          you’re right, everyone in hong kong, cuba and Sweden roots for the cos-shmos, and people in Brazil know Pele too! Too bad none of them can see the team on TV or fly in for the games so attendance is limited to one side of the college turf lacrosse field for all the local 500 fans who do show up, and are akin to rats on a sinking ship. I guess I wouldn’t show up to watch a game against Relegated Rayo or can’t pay their people Ft. Lauderdale either?…