by DAVE MARTINEZ
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Fans and media marveled at the play of 39-year-old Marcos Senna in the final two matches of his New York Cosmos career.
And that was before anyone knew he was hurt!
In fact, the Cosmos’ defensive midfield pairing of Marcos Senna and Danny Szetela worked through significant pain and played the NASL Championship Final against the Ottawa Fury — while nursing broken toes.
“The two guys in the same position. Can you believe that?” Senna tells EoS. “Neither he nor I were thinking about our toes or injuries at that time. All we were thinking about was the Final.
Senna suffered a broken pinky toe sometime during the team’s season finale encounter against the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Szetela fell injured against the Strikers in the team’s semifinal encounter at MCU Park. Both kept their ailments out of the eye of the press heading into the NASL Final against Ottawa.
In order to keep himself in contention for the playoffs, Senna kept practice light and underwent cortisone treatment on the Friday prior to the NASL semifinal against Fort Lauderdale.
“I hate having to get injections daily for such an injury, but when the Final came, I had to make sacrifices,” Senna told EoS. “For the final, I took some pain killers to be ready. During the week, it bothered me, but I could play through it. The doctor’s didn’t have to inject me. I was able to deal with it.”
Szetela’s injury was a bit more serious. Nine days removed from the Soccer Bowl final, he was seen sporting a boot on his right foot. “[Szetela] is going to have to rest for three weeks. He played injured in the Final so we did some analysis and now we make sure he rests,” head coach Giovanni Savarese said.
“We had two of our central midfielders with broken toes — both playing their hearts out and biting their tongues to perform and perform in an amazing way. That speaks to their personality, their determination, the kind of leaders they are,” Savarese said. “These are the kind of players that make a team better.”
While Szetela will move on to treat his foot, Senna is still feeling pain in his right pinky toe and will seek treatment once he returns to Spain.
Asked if he was surprised by the 39-year-old Senna working through pain to lead the club this postseason, head coach Giovanni Savarese said, “Not even an inch of surprise.”
“When you talk about Marcos Senna, you talk about a special man, a special person, a special soccer player,” he continued. “Marcos was great all the way through the final and it was incredible that he was able to resist the pain and go over these two matches in the end, a semifinal and a final, as well as he did.”