Soccer Bowl Preview: Cosmos Host Ottawa Fury

IMAGE, NY COSMOS

by JAKE NUTTING

Sunday’s championship final between the New York Cosmos and Ottawa Fury FC will not only determine who lifts the Soccer Bowl trophy — the match will also determine who comes out on top in a season where the two sides played to a virtual deadlock.

It was a tight race throughout the NASL table this year, and the battle at the top of the table was no exception. New York claimed the Spring Season title with an impressive undefeated run, while the Fury clicked on all cylinders in the back half of the year to claim the Fall Season.

The three-game series between the two sides ended with each one taking a win and a scoreless draw in the middle to even things out. The Cosmos were only crowned the top seed by virtue of the second tiebreaker of total goals scored as both sides finished even on points and goal differential atop the combined table.

As hosts of the championship match, the Cosmos are hoping to replicate the magic that helped them secure their first NASL title back in 1972. Like this week’s impending bout with the Fury, that 2-1 result of the St. Louis Stars was also played at Shuart Stadium. While it took the original Cosmos six seasons to claim two league titles, these modern era Cosmos are already angling to win their second in three years.

The Cosmos clearly have prestige on their side heading into the weekend. For their Canadian opposition, Sunday is all about taking advantage of an opportunity to forge their own history. The upstart club has a chance to earn championship glory in only their second year of existence.

Starting XI Predictions:

Cosmos (4-2-3-1): Maurer – Gorskie, Mendes, Roversio, Ayoze – Senna, Szetela, Restrepo, Raul, Guenzatti – Cellerino

Fury (4-3-3): Peiser – Richter, Alves, Falvey, Trafford – Eustaquio, Ryan, Ubiparipovic – Wiedeman, Heinemann, Paulo Junior

Fitting Send-Offs: Much has been made of the extra motivation that the Cosmos have to push for the Soccer Bowl given that the match will be the last time that the esteemed Raul and Marcos Senna will ever take the field. That desire to send the two greats off into retirement on a positive note has shown through in the determined nature with which the team has approached recent matches.

But Ottawa has their own added motivation to take the title. Head Coach Marc Dos Santos won’t be retiring at season’s end, though he will be departing for another coaching opportunity. Dos Santos wants to validate the system he built from the ground up in Ottawa with the ultimate prize, and there is no doubt that his players will be driven to help their coach do just that.

Moving on from September: Ottawa’s 4-1 triumph over the Cosmos on September 22 is hard to ignore, but the Cosmos are in a vastly different place over a month later. That stumble came during one of the most congested stretches for New York this year, when Senna was still working his way back into the fulltime lineup, and center back Roversio was still sidelined by injury.

Those players have now returned to form, along with holding midfielder Danny Szetela and attacking midfielder Sebastian Guenzatti, who have become mainstays in the lineup once again. A rout like the one in the last match up between these two sides is highly unlikely. Fans should expect a competitive match.

Defensive Prowess: With a healthy Roversio back in the mix, the Cosmos should be far less exposed when matching up with the Fury and will look much more like the squad that only allowed 30 goals in 30 games this year. That’s a terrific statistic for the Cosmos, but it’s only second best when stacked up against the Fury, who conceded only 23 goals in the same amount of games. Given the defensive dependability on display this weekend, the match could prove the old adage that defense wins championships. Like the scoreless draw between the two sides in August, true scoring chances will probably be hard to come by.

Peppering Peiser: A keeper getting on the shortlist for league MVP is no easy feat, though it’s exactly what Ottawa’s Romuald Peiser did this year with his stellar play. The Frenchman has made a habit of denying opponent’s on seemingly sure goals on a regular basis. The low scoring rate for Peiser’s opposition is exactly why the Cosmos need to test the keeper as much as possible. Ottawa’s attack has thrived off limited chances through some clinical finishing, while the Cosmos have been a little less fortunate on capitalizing on their chances. The advanced attacking role that Raul has taken up recently could play a huge part in how productive the Cosmos are. Forward Gaston Cellerino has yet to prove himself a serious threat when stranded up top. He’ll likely need all the help he can get to best the Fury back line.

X-Factor: The NASL took a risk scheduling its championship final during an international break, and the move has cost the Fury veteran midfielder Julian De Guzman who will be away with Canada. Cosmos attacking midfielder Andres Flores, though, endeared himself supporters for many years to come by declining El Salvador’s call up for the next round of World Cup Qualifying. Flores has become a regular substitute with tremendous potential of changing any match he enters, which is something that could come in handy for a match that is likely to be hard-fought to the very end.


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  • Hernando Peralta

    Soccer Bowl? How many people they expect? about 100 maybe 150. That

    NASL is a joke or not?

    • Slowleftarm

      That a right

      It can never compare to the glory that is MLS

      All Heil the Don

      • slowleftarm

        Yawn. Please try harder impostor.

        • trollleftarm

          Why should he try any harder than the original, who’s a boring repetitive squawk-box of a troll?

    • EPL fan

      Look at the MLS fans having a good at the nasl as if the MLS is complete **** too compa red tor leagues around the world

      The best player the USA ever had aka donovan, couldn’t cut it in Europe

      Please

      All your leagues are ****

      • OpenCupFan

        Why don’t you stfu until one of your sh!t clubs beats a Spanish team. Top to bottom, LaLiga cleans house all over Europe, only morons and EPL fans are blind to this reality – check the scoreboard and shut-up with your stup!d accent.
        .
        Like cricket, soccer, and rugby your country also s*ucks at speaking English. You arrogant sh!t. Criticize #bushleaguemls all you want, but don’t ever attack my club!
        .
        Can’t wait until the Cosmos start going to Europe and kicking in your sh!tty @ss teeth in, again.
        .
        #greentideworldwide
        .
        (Love the English really, just got a little worked up) – C.O.S.M.O.S. !!!

        • slowleftarm

          Look at this delusional fanboy. This English guy is a clown but not as big a clown as someone who thinks Hempstead Cosmos are going to conquer Europe. First they were going to win the open cup, now what? The UEFA Champions League? Yeah can’t wait for that Cosmos-Barca final. I guess if you’re going to go delusional, may as well go all in.

          • Euro sucks

            Well they did it.once.before

          • EPL fan

            You’re both morons
            The two of you and that retarded chap Larry the nycfc fan
            The three of you are all cut from same idiotic piece of cloth.

            The three of you should move to an island and kill yourselves off.

            ALloyd three of you are delusional morons. Easily the three biggest morons here.

            • Larry’s A Simpleton

              like anybody cares what some euro scumbag thinks. lol

              • EPL Fan

                I’m English, not European, you ignoramous.

                Like anyone cares about Man City’s farm team and their fans who don’t know **** about the game.

                You probably live in your mom’s basement and discovered this sport within the last three years.

                You are ****. Your team is ****. Your league is ****.

                Your team is a Man City farm club.

                Red Bulls are an ad for a beverage.

                The Cosmos aren’t even the “real” cosmos.

                You, Open Cup Fan and Slow left arm are delusional wankers who deserve each other.

                Jackasses.

                • OpenCupFan

                  Go brush your teeth. You sound as dumb as Larry and smell like slow.

                  • EPL fan

                    You’re an idiot. The three of you should get an apartment together and have it be a reality series. Three morons who don’t know anything about soccer. Shrewsbury could whip your crappie teams. You are right thought. MLS is not bethere than nssl. They are both ****.

                    • OpenCupFan

                      I agree with that.
                      .
                      Except I couldn’t live with them, I saw the original Terminator and as a result could never trust a bot.
                      .
                      Don’t talk sh!t about my club, or I will tie in a room with those two numb nuts and force you to watch a #bushleaguemls game while they circle j%rk about how good Miazga is going to be in 20 years.

          • amerisnob

            EPL fan: “MLS is **** the whole league sucks why does anyone even care about that league it’s a waste of time”

            slowleftarm: “Shut up, EPL fan.”

            slowleftarm: “NASL is **** the whole league sucks why does anyone even care about that league it’s a waste of time”

            • OpenCupFan

              Bots are not self-aware.

            • EPL fan

              The gap between the premier league and mls is massive. The gap between MLS and thr nasl is minor. They are both ****.

              • slowleftarm

                Why does a Sheffield Wednesday supporter care about the EPL? Not like you’re going to be there any again any time soon. **** team, **** town.

            • trollleftarm

              Don’t expect anything—he’s completely clueless.

      • German Guy

        Tim Howard & Brad Friedel were / are both better than Donovan.

        But, yeah the field players have struggled

        Maybe Keller, too

        • EPL Fan

          The American ‘keepers are good.

          The field players, however, have traditionally been ****.

          • slowleftarm

            Remind me how England did in Brazil? Surely better than the US right? And when they were in the same group in South Africa, England won that group right?

            • EPL fan

              Oh please

              I’m talking about the epl, not the national team, which is **** like the USA team. You stupid moron

              Do you know to read?

  • Honolulu Bill

    Nice try. Slow always uses a lower case s for starters. Also- his posts make sense, unlike plastic cosmo and boy city idiot fans.

    • Resguard

      You didn’t hear the real slowleftarm isn’t around anymore, I think he went to go get a higher education, all the ones you see now are imposters.

      • Paul mccartney

        He’s dead

        He blew his mind out in a car

        He didn’t notice that the light had changed

        • slowleftarm

          4000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire?

    • amerisnob

      Lol Brand Extension FC

  • john

    Is this game on Television?

    • slowleftarm

      Of course not – this is the NASL we’re talking about.

      • EPL fan

        Like anyone outside of MLS cities watches mls games

        Retard

  • New York’s greatest. Can’t wait for tomorrow! I saw Oasis at Wetlands in I think 1992. There was about 100 people there. And yeah, you’re all right, that wasn’t nearly as cool as seeing them at Madison Square Garden!

    Sad fools.

    • Anonymous

      You’re making me tear up remembering The Wetlands.

      (and 1992)

  • Larry’s A Simpleton

    expecting big crowd tomorrow. ROFLMAO!

    • OpenCupFan

      What does DangerMan do when it’s your turn to hold the brain?

      • EPL fan

        You guys are more similar than different. You are both idiots. I love watching you guys argue. It’s like watching blind deaf mutes box.

        • OpenCupFan

          I love watching your country get its ass kicked by Germany – in everything. I also imagine Shakespeare is crying whenever one of you dumb dumbs tries speaking the English language. Go learn French and stomp butchering our language!

  • Anonymous

    Cosmos and Red Bulls should merge into one team. Keep the Cosmos name because it a well known brand worldwide. It is a win win for fans and league.


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