Cosmos Notes: Senna NASL Player of the Week, Szetela, injury updates, attendance, more

IMAGE, NYCOSMOS.COM

When you single handedly break a teams losing streak and 294 minutes of scoreless soccer with a single world class wonder-strike, is there any way you won’t be named player of the week?

Of course not.

Marcos Senna received league honors this week for his role in the New York Cosmos victory over Minnesota United.

“It was a fantastic feeling to score a goal like that and to do it in such an important moment for us and in front of our home fans was great,” Senna says. “But my teammates deserve credit as well because it took a tremendous effort from our entire team to beat a quality team like Minnesota.”

“Marcos is a special player and he showed again what he brings to the table that night,” head coach Giovanni Savarese adds. “That was a world class goal in a crucial moment for our team.”

The goal was Senna’s first of the season, but is arguably the most important of the Cosmos campaign. With the finish, Senna keeps New York in contention for the Spring Championship season, closing the gap at the top of the table to three points with four games remaining.

INJURY UPDATES: SZETELA, JOHNSON, DIAZ

Joseph Nane was a surprise starter against Minnesota, taking the place of team stalwart Danny Szetela. Many contemplated whether or not the move was a managers decision.

It turns out it wasn’t. Szetela picked up an injury in practice leading up to the match.

“Szetela had a problem with his toe,” Savarese revealed. “On Sunday’s practice, he had a little situation where he went to get the ball and collided with another player. It looked like it was nothing. On Monday, he felt more pain. He came to the field not being sure 100% he could play.”

While serious enough an injury to sit Szetela, scans of his foot following the match revealed minimal concerns.

“The X-rays we did [Tuesday] show he has no fracture,” he revealed. “Thank God it’s not fractured. He should be fit to start [training Wednesday].”

Diomar Diaz was not so lucky. Both he and Jemal Johnson suffered hamstring strains that will see the speedy wingers miss this weekends encounter against the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

HOME ATTENDANCE

Some 3,091 fans were announced for Monday’s six point showdown against Minnesota United at Shuart Stadium.

The key word here is announced. Like several professional sports leagues across the country, NASL measures attendance by tickets sold — not the gate. In actuality, New York had far less fans in attendance for the rare weekday fixture.

In context, Monday’s encounter was always going to be a difficult draw based on date alone. However, it only magnifies recent attendance woes.

For his part, Savarese downplays the issue, keeping his mind and the team’s focus on the field.

“The two things I cannot focus and the team cannot focus is the crowd,” Savarese says. “That is not our responsibility. Our responsibility is making sure we execute on the field what we practice during the week and we get results, improving week to week and playing better soccer and working towards a championship.

“That is all we can control,” he continues. “The crowd is something the technical staff cannot focus. We motivate players and give them the trust and confidence to secure what we ask them to. They know there will be games where they have more people and others with less people like this.”

NEWS AND NOTES

– Savarese on the availability of Hans Denissen for Tampa Bay: “We hope so and we hope every single week but cannot confirm whether he will be available.”

– On the difference between the Minnesota match and the past two games: “This game was completely different. We did create very good opportunities. We were able to get behind. Mads had two chances, Paulo Mendes had one and Ayoze had another situation. We had good and clear chances and that’s what we ask for — that we have the opportunities, that we create them and that we are able to secure that. Now, with confidence, the next time they will be able to score the goals.”


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